Aakash tablet: To Modi, with love from Sibal

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New Delhi, Sept 28: Union Telecom Minister and Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi almost looked akin to school-going kids, as they continue their fight over Aakash tablets.

The "verbal duel" between the two India's top-most politicians initiated when Modi took a dig at Sibal's ambitious project - Aakash tablet and claimed it to be the world's cheapest PC, mostly designed to be used by students of India. Each Aakash tablet is priced at Rs 2,276.

Now, HRD minister has sent two pieces of Aakash tablet to Gujarat Chief Minister following Modi's public comment against the cheapest PC.

Earlier at a public function, Modi made fun of the low cost gadget as being elusive.

Along with the gift, Sibal has also written a letter to Modi, asking him to keep politics away from education, said sources.

"Education is a collaborative venture beyond the pale of politics and we need to work together in the best interests of the children of the country," Sibal was cited as saying in the letter.

Sibal also explained the reason behind delay in the availability of Aakash tablets. He said that modifications were carried out on Aakash by IIT-Bombay and an improved version was now available.

"The modified version of Aakash is comparable in quality to products that are available in the market at over four times the proposed cost of Aakash i.e. Rs 2,276. IIT-Bombay, in collaboration with others, has also developed a number of educational applications which will be pre-loaded on Aakash-2 before it is provided to educational institutions and students," Sibal wrote.

Sibal also told Modi that Aakash represented the "progressive endeavour of our country to empower the aam aadmi".

He requested Modi to cooperate to "maintain the morale of the institutions which have collaborated in an initiative never before seen in the country".

Addressing students on Teachers' Day from Gandhinagar, Modi - punning on the word "aakash" - on Sept 5 had said, "The Aakash tablet promised by Union Minister Kapil Sibal is yet to arrive on earth."

"He (Sibal) had stated that the world's cheapest low-cost PC would be made available to students at Rs 3,000. Mind you, it was not for free, you had to pay for it, but even after paying, no tablet PC has been delivered since its launch."

Sibal had retorted by saying that Modi may be rich in politics but is poor at heart.

"After receiving the tablet, Modi may think about taking back his statement," Sibal said when asked about the Gujarat Chief Minister's remarks.

OneIndia News

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