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Rs 3500 4G supporting Aakash tablet soon: Kapil Sibal
A state-of-the-art Aakash tablet supporting 3G and 4G Internet speed at a price of Rs 3,500 a piece will be rolled out soon as four top-notch MNCs, including Intel have joined the government initiative to reach computers to the bottom of the market, Communication Minister Kapil Sibal said at an Assocham event here at New Delhi.

"In January, we finally opened the tenders for Aakash model of tablets. Four MNCs, including Intel, are part of the programme?.the tablet supporting 3G and 4 G will be available at Rs 3,500 without taxes and with taxes for Rs 3,900", Sibal said after giving away Assocham awards for the 6th Global Corporate Social Responsibilities Summit.

Exhorting the corporates to service the society through innovative cost structure to reach out to 800 million Indians who have very little purchasing power but have a big potential for growth, the minister said the price of the Aakash would come further down to Rs 2,000 apiece and then even to Rs 1,500 once millions of pieces are produced with advantage of the volume of scale.

The Communication Minister who is an MP from Delhi's Chandni Chowk Parliamentary constituency said the battery-operated rickshaws, seen widely in the national capital was another of his initiative to promote markets for low-cost and environment friendly product, which is a boon not only for the users but also the rickshaw pullers.

Sibal said it was during one of his visits to the Chandni Chowk area that he saw the rickshaw pullers suffering the drudgery and afflicting tuberculosis by pulling the load of two-three people. As a minister in-charge of Science and Technology then, he asked his officials and scientists to work on the concept of the battery-operated rickshaws. These battery-operated rickshaws are now a reality and seen widely in the city.

He said while the new CSR rules offer opportunity of Rs 15,000 -20,000 crore for the social work with something like 16,000 companies under the ambit of CSR, the real service by entrepreneurs to the society is offered by innovating products which are affordable and can be used by masses at the rock-bottom prices. That also makes an excellent business sense, he said.

The Assocham CSR Excellence Award was bagged by the infrastructure major GMR Hyderabad International Airports while Ambuja Cement was the first runner-up. The award for the SME segment for the CSR excellence was given away to Indus Health Plus. Other awardees included Chambal Fertilizer and Chemicals, JK Paper, NTPC, ONGC, Punjab National Bank and Tata Motors.


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