India Report Card for Technology 2010 – Part 2

In my previous post I tried to show some of the posts that I had done in relation to India, Innovation and overall progress. I would like to continue down the line on some of the amazing innovations in the sub continent for this year that I have not written about. And the look of the improvements in technology is reaching far more than just the shores of India but also abroad. The so called “sleeping Tiger” from India is awakening, and putting aside the likes of Notion Ink Adam, and PI, there are many more innovations coming out of the sub continent worth mentioning.

In part 1 of the report card I highlighted most of the advancements that I reported in this blog. In part 2 we will look at the other part. The focus here is the government and how they have been instrumental in the introduction of new technology in the Indian Industry. When the government wakes, the country will be much stronger, but alas the government is waking like a guy with hangover not knowing what to do, without direction and focus. But what is heartening to see is that there is a change and the government is responding.

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The $35 Dollar Laptop


The Government has made some large claims and done some deeds that will put it at par with the consumer electronics segment. An Announcement from the Government, the $35 tablet PC from India dubbed the everything killer is a device that is as impressive as it can get with $35. It’s a sort of tablet and, while I don’t know full specs, is said to have 2GB of memory, run Linux, be able to connect to the internet over WiFi, open PDFs, and even play YouTube videos. The Indian government also plans to subsidize their sale to students such that they’ll cost only $20. The goal is to have them selling for as little as $10 in the future. Exciting? Yes, but let’s just the last time an announcement for a $10 Laptop was made from India, it turned out to be not a laptop. However, this seems to be in the right direction. Unveiled by the Human Resources Minister Himself, this would do wonders if actually were to be released.

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An Operating System and Anti Virus for the Government

According to a report on TOI, The Government of India has decided to develop its own Operating system and Antivirus as the networks keep getting hacked often and data is stolen at times.  This report says that a high-level taskforce is now exploring the possibilities. I expect that the Government may go for a Linux based operating system with enhanced security features. There are many other countries, where the Government has either adopted a Linux based OS or developed own custom OS. See this Wikipedia page for more information.  This announcement will certainly worry Microsoft and other software solution companies, as the government is usually a key revenue source for them.

Usually one would laugh at the thought of Indian Government developing its own operating system. But considering that CDAC, i.e the Center for Development of Advanced Computing has already worked out an Operating system this year called Bharat Operating System Solutions, i.e. BOSS this could very well be achievable. BOSS is Derived from Debian, the recently released desktop version 3.0 supports 18 Indian languages (Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Bodo, Urdu, Kashmiri, Maithili, Konkani, Manipuri) – and includes a host of features to enhance its utility: a 3-D desktop; support for Bluetooth wireless devices; a document reader for the PDF format and application tools in all Indian languages.

[ Source ] [ CDAC ]

Vyomanauts

A billion-strong nation with an ambitious space programme – India – is seeking a new breed of spacefarers: vyomanauts, according to Indian media. The closest Sanskrit word to astronaut would have been vyomagami, for something that passes in the sky. The other word for an Indian spacefarer that had been bandied about was gaganaut (gagan is also Sanskrit for sky). But “vyoma is very good”, says Choudury Upender Rao, a professor of Sanskrit studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. “It’s an appropriate choice.” The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is now in the process of choosing four vyomanauts from a pool of 200 fighter pilots. India’s first crewed space mission is scheduled for 2015, designs for which were unveiled last year by Madhavan Nair, former chairman of ISRO. The three-person vehicle will initially carry two vyomanauts into 275-kilometre low-Earth orbit. Before this flight, ISRO will launch its second moon mission in 2013.

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‘Kill Vehicle’ to Knock Enemy Satellites Out of the Sky

With perennial foe Pakistan always teetering on the brink of political collapse and neighboring superpower China taking strides into space technology, India has announced that it is developing an exo-atmospheric “kill vehicle” that will knock enemy satellites out of orbit.

The program was proudly announced as part of India’s ballistic missile defense program, a division of India’s Ministry of Defense. However, in a briefing last week defense officials admitted lots of work on the project is yet to be done. Like, almost all of it. The kill vehicle (read: missile of some kind) will be guided by a laser, which will lock onto the offending satellite and keep the kill vehicle on a solid interception course. Neither the laser nor the kill vehicle actually exists yet, but be forewarned: India will put a dent in your space capabilities at a time and place as yet undetermined.

Olive Pad from India

Olive Telecom has just announced India’s first 3.5G Android (2.1 for now) tablet in the Olive Pad VT100. This 7-inch slate is said to boast an 800 x 480 resolution on a capacitive touchpanel, not to mention Bluetooth, WiFi, an SD card slot, 512MB of internal memory (plus 512MB ROM), a 3.5mm audio jack, 3 megapixel camera, mini USB socket and a 3,240mAh battery. There’s also a mysterious front facing camera for video calls, and sure enough, this thing actually supports voice, which may very well make it the largest smartphone to launch in 2010.

There are a lot more and those I will write about in the next few weeks as each of them require an entire post to highlight and showcase the inguinity and innovation attached to them. Either way this has been a good year for India and Technology. Last but not the least I would like to leave you with a few videos that are really worth watching during the Independence Day

Jawaharlal Nehru’s Speech in 1947

News Clip – India Gains Independence

Rabbi Shergil – BILQIS

And Last but not the Least, the Best version of the National Anthem by the Maestro A.R Rahman

National Anthem

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