Adopt technology for growth in education : Intel India chief

September 27th, 2010 - 4:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Shillong, Sep 27 (IANS) The world’s cheapest laptop developed by Indian students is encouraging for the education sector of the country as technology-adoption is crucial for the growth of this vital segment, Intel India president Praveen Vishakantaiah said Monday.
“Technology-adoption in the education sector is vital for its growth. The effort to build the world’s cheapest laptop for the students is a step in the right direction,” he said.

On July 27, Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal unveiled a prototype tablet computer developed by students of India’s two leading technology institutes - Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Science (IIS).

Vishakantaiah said the idea, for the growing education sector, is to provide technological solutions for the students, how it’s done is a matter of research and development. “The spaces in the education sector must be augmented through technology,” he said.

The seven and nine-inch Linux-based touchscreen gadget priced at Rs.1,500 has all the basic features, including a built-in key board, a two GB RAM memory, Wi-Fi connectivity, USB ports and is powered by a two-watt system for use in power deficit areas. The device is likely to be available next year.

The gadget, described by many as ‘godsend for students’, evoked tremendous interest around the world, but critics doubt if the price could be sustained as claimed by the HRD ministry.

The computing device will support functions like video web conferencing facility, and multimedia content viewing.

“The effort of the HRD ministry, irrespective of the laptop’s marketing success, is laudable and encouraging for the education sector and a step in the right direction for the benefit of young Indians,” Vishakantaiah said.

Emphasising Intel’s efforts in this direction, he said, the company has developed several solutions for the education sector. The company, in collaboration with the National Association for Blind, has recently developed an open-source computer software for the visually-impaired.

The Intel president handed over a laptop fitted with the software to a visually impaired student here who topped last year’s board exams. “Technology doesn’t differentiate and stands up to challenges,” he said, after handing over the laptop to the student here in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya.

Vishakantaiah said the country must lay emphasis on the education sector more so on higher education and research for its overall development. “The IT boom of the 90’s can only be sustained through continued research and higher education,” he said.

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