After reports on IIT Rajasthan losing out on the Aakash 2 deal began surfacing, and the HRD Ministry's announcement to open Aakash 2 bidding to public sector companies, the Indian Telephone Industries (ITI) is preparing to bid for the Aakash 2 deal. They're bidding to start supplying from April. According to Media Mughals, the Ministry requires 220 million Aakash 2 tablets to be able to supply a tablet to every student in college and/or university by 2014.
ITI among other PSUs will bid for Aakash 2
The Ministry had to drop Datawind's deal because they were planning on increasing costs, without which, they could not supply the tablets. They were also disgruntled when Datawind decided to sell the tablet in the market before supplying them to the Ministry. Datawind has an extended Letter of Credit until March, but after that, their course seems undecided. A government official has been quoted saying, “We have realised that educational institutes are not capable of handling tenders as it involves large sums of money and handling vendors. Public sector undertakings are much better equipped to handle it.“
Datawind and IIT Rajasthan did not share a very good relationship, either. The two entities had varying views on what specifications the tablet should carry. For instance, Datawind held the opinion that the tablet should carry very basic specs to be useful for the layman. IIT Rajasthan, on the other hand, wanted more military-style specs. Their specs would have made the Aakash water proof. Datawind did not run those kinds of tests on the tablet, though.
Aside from ITI, the Ministry also has expectations from other public sector companies, like Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd. The size of the order, though might require more than one vendor to supply the tablet.
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