Atanu Dey On India's Development

India Orders 250,000 OLPCs?

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Endgadget reports that “India bids mythical $10 laptop adieu, turns to OLPC.”

What’s worse than a $10 laptop that winds up costing $30? A $10 $30 laptop that’s not really a laptop at all. India is shrugging off the disappointment surrounding its apparent failure to bring home-grown tech to its youth, but thankfully isn’t giving up on the kids, ordering a whopping 250,000 OLPC XO laptops. Waiting this long to drink the Negroponte Kool Aid means 1,500 schools will get the latest and greatest models, featuring VIA C7-M processors and bumped up storage. The plan is for a total of three million portable computers for Indian schools this year, and while it’s unclear just how many will be little, green, and different, that’s a whole lot of lappys regardless. [Emphasis added.]

I thought that India was done with that OLPC insanity bit. I was wrong. The sheer stupidity of those who make these decisions never ceases to amaze. Or perhaps it is not stupidity but cynical manipulation of the system by power-hungry politicians using public funds to give away goodies to their favored caste and religious groups in exchange for political patronage.

Update: Just came across olpcnews.com’s post which gives more details.

Satish Jha, president and CEO of OLPC India has announced via IDG that two government organizations and one private-sector entity placed a 250,000 XO laptop order. Apparently, the XO laptops will be distributed to about 1,500 schools, starting in June.

This is seriously disturbing. They are doing their best to further impoverish a seriously poor country. Hell would be too good for these.