Patna University (PU) students would have to wait a bit longer before they can log on to the Net using their very own Tablet, Aakash.
The institute had forwarded a request to the Union human resource development (HRD) ministry of 17,000 Tablets in February, a month after receiving a letter from it in January.
The varsity is, however, yet to receive any reply from the ministry on the supply of the devices.
PU computer department in-charge K.P. Singh said: “Five months have passed since we sent the letter requesting the HRD ministry to provide us with the Tablets, but there’s no communication from their end so far.”
He added that the students who had registered their names to buy the Tablets were making regular queries because of the delay.
Singh said: “The price of an Aakash Tablet available in the market is Rs 2,276. But the ministry decided to bear half the cost of each Tablet and provide a student with the device for Rs 1,138.”
He added: “We have come to know that DataWind, the manufacturing company, is yet to start production in a full-fledged way to supply the devices to educational institutions. The university administration had informed students about the supply of Aakash Tablets at a cheaper rate. Colleges and departments had submitted their demand list, following which the university submitted a proposal of 17,000 Tablets to the ministry.”
It was decided that once the ministry supplies the devices to the university, the institute would collect the money from the interested students and send the amount to the Union ministry.
The university has also urged the ministry to supply the improved version of the Aakash Tablet. Besides having the usual MS Office applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint, the updated variant of the gadget will be Wi-Fi enabled and have a touch-screen user interface. It can also be used as a mobile.
The device can enable students and teachers in the university to have access e-content anytime and anywhere.
Shalu Sharma, a BCom student of Magadh Mahila College said: “We have been waiting for the Aakash Tablet. It would be very useful for students like us to access the Internet for information on various topics using the device.”Apart from students, many teachers of Patna College had applied for the Tablet.
Randhir Kumar Singh, one of the teachers, said: “At Patna College itself, around 70 per cent of students and several teachers had submitted their list to purchase the device.”
Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal had in October last year launched the Tablet and announced to provide the Tablets to students at a cheap rate.
PU was one of the universities selected by the ministry to be provided the device.