We're on it.  Jessie Wild (who manages offline projects at WMF) and I had a meeting a few days ago with the persons in charge of the Akash initiative at the GoI's Ministry of HRD.  I've briefed the Chapter EC on this.

The meeting was very promising.  There are a bunch of things that need to be done to take it forward - but there is initial interest from the GoI.

I need a few more days to share a proper update to the community list.  Need a little bit of time because I need to tape up a few things and make sure I send out a note that accurately reflects the opportunity and the requirements.  (I'm in some exploratory discussions at this stage.)

Having said that, there are 3 big challenges we will face

a) Need to establish a solid base of acceptable quality articles of Indian relevance.  Ashwin: Thanks for expressing interest on this.
b) Need to establish a reasonable set of acceptable quality articles in Indic languages (since Akash's remit is pan-India.)
c) Need to build a customised offline interface for wikipedia offline.

...and, yes, we did see and play with the tablet and it's bloody impressive at the price!!!


On Dec 1, 2011, at 10:34 AM, Bishakha Datta wrote:

On Thu, Dec 1, 2011 at 10:22 AM, Gautam John <gautam@prathambooks.org> wrote:
Worth checking out for the Chapter? And the Trust? Maybe both together?

"Datawind, the inventor of world's cheapest tablet computer UbiSlate
has joined hands with NASSCOM Foundation to help bridge the digital
divide in India.
Partnership focuses to announce a contest targeting the non-profit
network across India, wherein 10 of them will stand an opportunity to
win 20 Aakash tablets/UbiSlates each, to improve their operations and
programme implementation, said a press release.
The contest will open between December 2011 and January 2012.
How will the winning streak be decided? Each of the participating
organizations will have to showcase how best the UbiSlate will be used
for socio-economic challenges such as education, health and
NASSCOM Foundation definitely sees potential for the information and
communication technologies sector playing a crucial role in the
process of social change."


Suneet Singh Tuli, the founder of Datawind, spoke about this at TEDxGateway in Mumbai on Sunday, and expressed a personal interested in providing free Aakash tablets for 'developmental' purposes. (He's verbally committed 500 free tablets to another Indian non-profit I know). 

He lives in Canada; it may be worth talking to him too.

Also, seconding Gautam's idea: can the chapter and trust speak to each other and figure out who has the drive, inclination, ability and capacity to take this forward? (Working together never a bad idea, imho).


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