This Tablet PC might not be as stylish as the iconic iPad, but it is still a noteworthy achievement.
Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) is generally known for being Indias leading manufacturer of defence related products. In the past the PSU has been a major supplier of radar, communication and electronic warfare equipments to the armed forces. Now it is branching out in non-defence civilian businesses by making forays into areas like Tablet PCs and solar energy.
Researchers at BELs central research lab have designed a basic Tablet PC, which costs around $72 (Rs. 3000), and is going to be used by the rural development ministry to conduct a census study on people below the poverty line. Powered by Android version 2.2, the Tablet PC runs on a solar battery. It is capable of storing data and uploading it to the central server in real time. It can also be used as an e- reader.
From the govt. of India, BEL has already received orders for 6 lakh of these Tablet PC units, in a deal that is being valued at Rs 250 crore. The delivery of the 6 lakh units will be made by November this year. Indias human resources ministry has also expressed interest in the tablet. The ministrys plans to use the low-cost PCs to boost education in lower-income areas.