The main focus of many families currently is survival. We have moved from thriving to survival. As over-inflated prices loom on the horizon, this election proved to be a vote of the haves versus the have nots. Survival dictates that a foundation must be reset and we need to rethink how to empower people, ho to strengthen families and how to rebuild this economy. This can be learned by observing other societies and mirroring their efforts and adding our ingenuity.
Some people don’t believe education is the key. The Indian government has focused on this as a national education project. Wait, did you read that right? Yes a national education project. Apparently, of India’s 1.2 billion population, only a tenth can afford a computer to go on the Internet. President Pranab Mukherjee, Union Human Resource Department Minister Mallipudi Raju Pallam Mangapati (Pallam Raju), and Union Minister of Communications and IT, Kapil Sibal were all behind this project which was announced on India’s National Education Day. It is their aim to make a usable computer.
Technology is simply a tool to be used to better our lives, create, keep in touch and educate us. The Indian government understands this; it is providing Aakash2 tablets to their students for the purpose of facilitating remote education between teachers and students. This Android tablet costs roughly $50 and will come down to $35 (Rs. 1,900 approximately). An interesting bit of information is that the tablet has an app called the Aakash Programming Lab (APL for short) can create C, C++,Python and Scilab. APL is a simple programming language learning app. The Indian government is subsidizing these so it will cost the student roughly $20 or more accurately The commercial version also developed by Datawind is called the UbiSlate 7C+ and retails for $60.
Many Americans are quick to complain about H1-B visas which are given out to foreigners. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services Department defines the purpose of H1-B visa as: “U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields, such as scientists, engineers, or computer programmers.” As of 2005 approximately 25% of the visas were issued to citizens of India (the largest percentage) and 43% were given out to those that reside in Asia continent. These continents are the homes of the future innovators and our future employers. With an investment in the people what else would you expect?
I love the ingenuity of these countries and how they seek to empower their citizens. I believe that the current administration should take a hint and start providing these to our students or find a similar tool to facilitate a better learning experience. One of the top engineering Universities of India has developed several proprietary apps including APL for the Aakash 2 tablet. (See video)
- Android 4.0
- 7-inch capacitive display
- 800 x 480 pixel resolution
- 512MB RAM of DDR3 RAM
- ARM 1GHz Cortex A8 processor
- 512MB RAM
- 4GB internal storage, up to 32GB microSD card slot
- USB port
- 3.5 mm audio jack
- G Sensor
- 0.3 megapixel front camera
- 3,200 mAh battery (3 hour battery life)
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
As far as specs this device is far from stellar but I believe the Indian’s government purpose for creating this tablet is to give the students a device to lay a great foundation for their citizens. As well I believe the hope is that each student will share the device with their family members enriching the lives of the whole family.
We have to invest in us. I pray that “Change has come”. Post your thoughts and follow me on Twitter, join NY Android on Facebook or subscribe here, for more in-depth looks at how Android is changing our lives.