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  (Source: AFP)
The prototype is similar to the iPad and could go into production by 2011.

India is in the process of developing a touchscreen tablet that could rival the iPad, but at just a fraction of the cost.  Aimed at students, the Linux operating system-based computer uses open-source programming and a memory card instead of a hard disk. 

The tablet would be used for word processing, web browsing and video conferencing. It would come fully equipped with an internet browser, Wi-Fi connectivity, a multimedia player, PDF reader, video conferencing ability and be supported by a two-watt backup source.  The tablet would also offer solar power, which would come at an additional cost, according to the
Associated Press and News Ok.

“We have made the breakthrough and are now ready to capture the market,” said Mamta Varma, a spokeswoman for the Human Resource Development Ministry.

India is still in search of a manufacturer for the device. 

Part of an education technology initiative with the National Mission on Education, the tablet was developed in collaboration with teachers and students from technology-based institutions from across the country. The government-operated group layout includes connecting India's 25,000 colleges and 504 universities to broadband and making study materials accessible online.

The ministry indicates that nearly 8,500 colleges have been connected and 500 web and video-based courses have been uploaded online so far.

India hopes to subsidize the cost of the tablet for its students, bringing the purchase price down to as little as $20 or $10.

The as-of-yet unnamed tablet computer could be in production by 2011.





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