Laptop for $10?

Laptop for $10?

Wednesday, 26 August 2009, 02:46 Hrs   |    25 Comments
Printer Print Email Email
Laptop for $10?
Hyderabad: India's technology institutes should work to develop low-cost laptops not costing more than $10 for students, according to Minister of State for Higher Education D. Purandareswari.

"It is a challenge but we have the potential and the capacity to overcome challenges. Who would have thought Ratan Tata would develop a car for 1 lakh?" Purandareswari said here Tuesday.

The minister was addressing e-India 2009, the country's largest information and communication technology (ICT) event which began here Tuesday.

"We need to put our heads together to bring down the cost of laptops. Power supply is another problem. We have to think how can we ensure schools use laptops and bring technology closer to children," she said.

Purandareswari said the National Mission on Education through ICT to be launched by the ministry of human resources development would also focus on achieving technological breakthrough by developing low-cost and low-power consuming access devices.

The mission will leverage the potential of ICT, in providing personalised and interactive knowledge modules over the internet for higher education institutions.

"Some people have suggested that a laptop be provided to every student. The government needs to provide subsidy for laptops which cost $100-200, but given the huge challenges the country faces, it can't afford such huge subsidies," Purandareswari said.

The minister said developing content for children in their mother tongue would be another major challenge.

"It is through ICT and distance education mode that we can improve our gross enrolment ratio (to higher educational institutions) from 10 percent to 15 percent, a goal set by the Planning Commission. Even this is not comparable to developing countries where the ratio is 60 percent," she said.

Purandareswari also underlined the need to remove fear of technology among the teaching community.

"Many of our teachers are first generation graduates, who are scared of failing in front of a computer in a class room. They also fear that technology will replace them and there is a need to take them into confidence," the minister said.

According to her, her ministry is working out a national ICT policy framework.

The government is also in the process of implementing a secondary education scheme called Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan during the 11th plan at a cost of 20,120 crore.

"This aligns with efforts of the ministry of human resources development to assist states to build ICT infrastructure in secondary schools through the scheme 'ICT in schools'," Purandareswari added.

Organised by Centre for Science Development and Media Studies, the three-day international conference and exhibition is a platform for knowledge sharing in different domains of ICT among governments, industry, academia and civil society organisations of various countries.
Source: IANS
Write your comment now
Submit Reset
Reader's comments(25)
1: Ms Purandeswari garu please understand what is meant my computer first and then decide the price Even every IC is been manufactured in India, there is no possibility of having a laptop for 10 dollars INR Rs 500.00 Stop Dreaming and do play political tacts here. This is for sure a 30 years plan and will not be implemented now. I am not demotivating but any commitment should be reliable and atleast should give a motivation to the present generation to spare sometime and think over it.

Everyone discussing about Laptop let the goverment start giving a good school uniform this peice of cloth itself gives lot of Obedience, Respect, motivation, and Social Responsibility.

Please politicians think reliaty and deliver it...DONT GOOF UP THE PEOPLE AROUND

Posted by:Raja - 30 Aug, 2009
2: It is important for me to clarify few things. I have high regards for Dr. Manmohan Singh and some of his ministers. Yes, a bit of psychology tells that Purandeswari is educated and also responsible. My words are not against any specific individual, for now.
I have heard of students from reputed institutions like IIT trying to come out with low cost computing devices using 8 bit and 16 bit microcontrollers. Well, every individual learns. At the same time, government should not take decisions based on incomplete inputs just because it comes from a reputed institution/person.
Few things to understand:
1. Even the smallest usable LCD screen for a laptop will cost not less than $15(best bargain).

2. Proprietary OS like Windows is ruled out. Developing a custom OS is not worthwhile for student applications and nobody would dare to get their hands on to it. Linux can only be the immediate solution.

3. To run even barebone linux with very limited applications, we would require a 32 bit microprocessor with a minimum performance rating of around 400 MIPS (This is comparable to Pentium Pro @200 MHz clock).

4. Most of Desktop and Laptop linux runs on Intel X86 architecture. Even the lowest range of X86 compatible processors would cost not less than $15 ( like AMD's geode, Via's nano or Even Intel's own low end processors. Entry level atom processors cost not less than $20.

5. The North Bridge and South Bridge companion chips for X86 would certainly cost something. Then comes memory, storage, laptop frame, battery, etc etc.

6. The OLPC is said to actually cost around $150 to manufacture.

7. There is always a rule called minimum sustainable business pricing. In that sense, it may not be possible to expect a usable laptop to cost less than $100.

8. I have seen people stating that cost of PC was 200% to 300% more, just few years ago and now the prices have fallen. Imagine, that someone manages to manufacture a laptop @ $10 a piece. Can we imagine that as time passes, we can expect the same laptop to cost somewhere around $4 or $5? Not so. The capability of a computing device will certainly increase for a given price index as time passes. Beyond certain point, it is not possible to expect price falls.

9. Just to let you people know, I had taken the efforts to submit a non-commercial proposal to CDAC Chennai to manufacture a low cost PC. I am yet to hear from them.

10. If any of you have access to responsible government representatives, get in touch with me and I can pass on a design document that I had prepared for a Low cost PC. This is not a commercial proposal. At the same time I don't want the document to be misused by private players.

I can be reached through
Posted by:Sreenivasan - 27 Aug, 2009
3: Where is will there is way. He who wins is he who thinks he can! When man can amazingly reach moon and stars and do wonders in many other fields, the dream to provide laptops to students can also be realized in the near future. It is not necessary that the same type of laptops be provided to students as are currently available in the market. Some sort of specific technology can be developed and used by institutions at a certain subsidized cost to enable the students use at least some device or electronic equipment to serve the same purpose or objective. It can be made optional for at least some students or for all and can be provided at as low as 10$ a month for students who are studying science & technology. You call it "LapTop" or "PotPal" research can one day develop (I hope) something of that sort which can used when brought within the high-tech school premises or specialized and innovative class rooms especially made for the purpose. Each student can be given a specific time-bound password to use their PotPals at home also or away from schools also at some extra cost. Reputed and esteemed institutions like ISRO, Indian Institue of Science, etc. should have to come forward and take this issue as a challenge and high need of the day and devote their best attention to allocate a fraction of the huge funds which are being used by them for the great R & D work in various fields to share the high rate of subsidy required to boost this very un-imaginable ambition of this author. Give to the world the best you have and the best will come back to you in terms of state-of-the-art excellent talents needed for the challenging jobs later.

Posted by:R. Shariff - 27 Aug, 2009
Posted by:HITESH - 26 Aug, 2009
5: Looks like this female forgot to add another zero at the end. This is what happens when morons rule.
Posted by:Raudreyaa - 26 Aug, 2009
6: If computers wouldn't be here, me and you would still be here.

What I mean is, world will still move without computers.

Not all Literate are educated (wise) and not all educated are literate.

We should focus in developing our nation.

Things that we should work on, is to build another big indigenous high processing computer at the same time develop a low-cost PC (Laptop or Desktop).

Public funds are being used in developing parks and not in homes/houses. The person who's basic necessity is not met, how would one work for including computers in basic requirement.

Even if these computers are made available, India does not any OS of its own to work on it.

We may have to work on Linux, which is not so much popular. The only reason that makes it popular is 'its free'. Linux pros are highly paid as they have more demand rather than trained people.

I don't know, when we start working for 20yrs down the line.

We haven't learn't much in 200yrs, from one of the best rulers :(.

Lets hope for a bright future of India.
Posted by:Kapil - 26 Aug, 2009
7: Her statement was in Indian Rupees only. These people have published it in USD.

In fact, she didnt say that the government will give laptop for 500 rupees. She asked/requested tech institutions to work on developing laptops not costing more than 500 rupees.

This is the actual statement from her

\"India\'s technology institutes should work to develop low-cost laptops not costing more than Rs.500 for students. It is a challenge but we have the potential and the capacity to overcome challenges. Who would have thought Ratan Tata would develop a car for Rs.1 lakh? We have to think how can we ensure schools use laptops and bring technology closer to children\".
Posted by:NagaNY - 26 Aug, 2009
I think it is impossible til 3-4 years from now & after that inflation will also spread its magic too, so till then this amount will be nowhere.
deepak sunaria Replied to: NagaNY - 26 Aug, 2009
9: MR Sreenivasan

I agree to your words like india is governed by two factors,
and more thing uneducated politicians but what u told about Mrs purandareswari or what u think abt her is entirely wrong she member of MHRD well educated, im using laptop from my childhood past 12 years now im 23,the laptop whic im havin now it costed around 2 lakhs last yr but nw i got it for just 72k, i know due sum uneducated politicians india s lik tis but b4 tlkin abt sum person's lik Mrs purandareshwari think n tlk k sir,
Posted by:punith - 26 Aug, 2009
Instead of talking about Subsidy on laptops the politicians in power should check the daal atta bhaav at a near by retail shop, they should compare the prices of Tur dal, Sugar, Petrol, etc the basic necessities which are shooting up continuously, and i don't understand why the politician is referring in dollars! Hope she is an Indian in India. It was just a political speech to fool people.
Eye opener Replied to: punith - 26 Aug, 2009
Her statement was in Indian Rupees only. These people have published it in USD.

In fact, she didnt say that the government will give laptop for 500 rupees. She asked/requested tech institutions to work on developing laptops not costing more than 500 rupees.

This is the actual statement from her

"India's technology institutes should work to develop low-cost laptops not costing more than Rs.500 for students. It is a challenge but we have the potential and the capacity to overcome challenges. Who would have thought Ratan Tata would develop a car for Rs.1 lakh? We have to think how can we ensure schools use laptops and bring technology closer to children".
NagaNY Replied to: Eye opener - 26 Aug, 2009
12: $10 laptop is quite a way away. Most companies are still struggling to get a $10 Phone. However, the XO (OLPC) project has a $100 laptop which is in production. If the $100 laptop can be used for 5 years in schools, the average cost per year is $20 which is what students spend on books now. If the govt. subsidizes the laptops to the extent of $50, the average cost per year comes to $10 per student per year. This is still doable.
Posted by:Sriram - 26 Aug, 2009
13: Palmtop may be possible. But laptop may not be.
Posted by:Kirtivasan - 25 Aug, 2009
Palmtop may be possible. But laptop may not be.
i am not understand this sentend hoe would say this
Ganesh Replied to: Kirtivasan - 26 Aug, 2009
15: I can bring $10 Computer/laptop.. who is ready to support me financially. It is very much possible.

Only factor is that money and no. of products we plan for manufacturing.

If anybody fund us ...we can make $10 laptop possible....
Posted by:ThangamaniArun - 25 Aug, 2009
show me the business plan and how you propose to do it. I will find you real money. Please send your bio as well. Thanks
Attn.: Nicole Smith

Nicole Replied to: ThangamaniArun - 26 Aug, 2009
Really? Then do one thing, you make your business plan and present it to investors. I am sure they would give you positive nod. However, it depends on how you convince them. It will be a revolutionary venture.
Satish maurya Replied to: ThangamaniArun - 26 Aug, 2009
18: Great pronouncement - instead of $ 10 PC's let our politicians figure out how to provide the family a meal within $ 10 a week. Sadly, each of the MP's cost the tax payers more than ten-thousand times the value of the proposed laptop annually!
Posted by:Ashit Sarkar - 25 Aug, 2009
19: nothing is impossible..
only factor is time..
and its not gonna take more than 20 years i believe..
i dunno if i can make that for $10..
but i will work towards tat..and may b i can do that in 20 years.. after i complete my studies and start up a company...

Posted by:Babu C K - 25 Aug, 2009
20: @ Purandareswari: Do you even know what a computer constitutes of? Have you ever used one in your entire life?

Useless dreaming...$10 or Rs.500 can probably give you just the keyboard for the laptop.

Yes, for your peanut sized brain, a calculator may look like a computer and thats what you can have for $10 (in fact lower) in the next 10 years.
Posted by:Skunk Werkz - 25 Aug, 2009
you know you behave like depression patient...Working to make a $10 laptop will be the dream job....
abk bond Replied to: Skunk Werkz - 26 Aug, 2009
22: India is currently governed by two factors. Ignorance and arrogance. Unfortunately, none of these would take this country towards anything.
It is pathetic to see lack of even little bit of technical knowledge on part of persons who assume serious duties that matters to citizens.
Probably, someof the ministers don't know the exchange value of dollar.. :-)
These kind of political stunts have already ruined this country enough. God knows how long and how far...
Posted by:Sreenivasan - 25 Aug, 2009
That ignorance and arrogance is contagious among its people especially the small minded and myopic. I wish we would do better than that. We know how to tear each other down but never uplift anyone. Those of us who have two meals care less about those who go w/o and education also remains one of such area. So poverty is created by the most educated when they keep out from educating the most forgotten due to cost prohibitive or accessibility factors. I hope I find two-five progressive people who can help create something meaningful in this direction, i.e. education which is the most effective shear to incise this cancer of poverty and corruption.
Shubham Replied to: Sreenivasan - 26 Aug, 2009

I purchased 6GB, Celeron400, 16MB machine(without any multimedia devices) for 54000 rupees in 1997. Now, I can get 320GB, PIV C2Duo,2GB machine for less than 17000 rupees with all multimedia devices. There is 400 percent reduction in price and some thousands percent more configuration, that too, in just 12 years. I havent expected this price 12 years back.
What you said is correct, that India is currently governed by two factors, Ignorance and arrogance. With technical ignorance of some people and arrogance that they have, they wont accept the facts.

Now, if you see, you can get a decent laptop without a CD ROM drive for less than 12K. You can go and inquire in any computer shop. Did you really expected this price five years back?

Please dont make comments with ignorance and arrogance.

If you can see, people like ThangamaniArun have accepted the fact and he, in fact is ready to start if he gets funds. If you are an enterprenuer, please talk to him and if you are convinced, fund him and you will be the trendsetter.

FYI..., Purandhareswari is highly educated and has been using laptop when common men like you havent even heard about a desktop.

PS: I belong to the constituency from where she won(firsttime) and I have been very close observer of her since 20 years.
Naga Replied to: Sreenivasan - 26 Aug, 2009
Can I get her contact address, need to share some proposal. Thanks
shubham Replied to: Naga - 26 Aug, 2009