January 26, 2021

After rolling out one lakh tablets thereby completing its target, the low-cost Aakash project launched by Centre in 2011 to provide viable education for students around the country was closed in March this year, according to an RTI (right to information) reply.

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“The Aakash project at IIT Bombay was closed on March 31, 2015, after successfully completing all targets. Specifications for future upgraded version have been submitted to the government. IIT Bombay is not in the knowledge of future plans,” as stated by IIT Bombay official in the RTI.

Initially, IIT Rajasthan was entrusted with the project, but it was returned to Ministry of Human Resource Development by IIT Rajasthan. Later, the project was entrusted to IIT Bombay and since then the institute had been overseeing the Aakash project.

Other than procuring one lakh devices, the other targets including – its sample testing in labs and establishment of over 300 Aakash centres which were engineering colleges across the country – were also achieved, it said.

A total of Rs. 47.72 crores was approved for the project and this amount has been spent to achieve the targets, according to the reply.

However, several complaints and troubleshoots were reported in the past with regard to the functioning of the device, brought from Canada-based Datawind company.

The issue was also raised in 2014 Lok sabha election.