SI Team
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
With a wave of tablet PCs hitting the consumer market, there has been a lot of discussions on whether these devices can emerge as an alternative to textbooks for the student community. Though, many agree that these devices can one day replace the good old textbooks in developed countries, can this be the same scenario in a country like India also?

The tech majors seem to be very confident about the opportunities of the tablets, especially in the education sector. After Apple unveiled its tablet PC, the iPad, several tech majors have started showing off their own 'iPad killers'. Joining this long list of contenders waiting to rule the tablet world is an India based firm Notion Ink, which unveiled its 'Adam' tablet in January this year at CES. And the person who co-founded this firm, Rohit Rathi believes that in the next 2-3 years tablets can replace textbooks in India at least in higher education. However, Rathi feels that there is a major role that the government should also play in order to increase the penetration of these devices. "The two main challenges in India are connectivity and availability of devices," says Rathi.

Today, several institutes in the US have already started using tablets instead of textbooks by collaborating with tech firms. However, there are still some issues that the education community in India is concerned about. "The devices should come with certain features that even engineering students can use, that too at an affordable cost, not many such tablets are available as of now," points out B. N. Jain, Professor of Computer Science at Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. As far as pricing is concerned Rathi explains that the average price of the tablet will be around Rs. 15,000, which would be affordable for students doing their higher studies.

With both the academia and the tech community ready to upgrade to the tablet generation, a thrust from the government can further increase the use of these devices in a country like India that can revolutionize the education system.
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