Government of India is all set to make available low-cost computers at the rate of INR 500 within six months. Technology for these computers have been developed by IISC, Bangalore and IIT Madras. These low-cost computers are being developed under the central scheme of National Mission on Education through Information Communication Technology (ICT).
The computer will be a small equipment with expandable memory, LAN and Wi-Fi facilities. A prototye computer has been designed which is being tested now. The government will also produce e-content on every subject which will be made available free of cost. Priority will be given to educational institutions which will be provided with these computers at a subsidised price
The ICT scheme further aims at providing broadband connectivity to about 20,000 institutions, including 100 central educational institutions, in the country. Institutions run by state governments and private agencies will have to bear 25 per cent of the cost for the broadband connectivity. The scheme which would cost INR 4,612 crore in the 11th Plan has already been approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) and aims to use ICT in providing personalised and interactive knowledge modules to students, a step aimed at increasing enrollment rate by five per cent in higher education in the 11th Plan. About 10,000 departments of 420 universities will benefit by the project. The scheme will be launched at Tirupati.
There are also plans to start 100 educational channels and beaming them through EDUSAT. These channels will spread education in remote and inaccessible areas.