Indian-origin CEO of Datawind, maker of India's low-cost tablet Aakash, Suneet Singh Tuli and Massachusettes Institute of Technology professor Anant Agarwal have been named by Forbes magazine among the 15 “classroom revolutionaries” who are using innovative technologies to reinvent education globally.
The Forbes list names 15 education innovators who are “harnessing a slew of disruptive technologies to change everything from the way we teach grade school math to how we train the next generation of teachers.” The publication said Tuli (44)) is the “mastermind” behind the world's cheapest tablet computer Aakash, “which has the potential to revolutionise educational access in the developing world.”
Datawind has a backlog of “millions” of orders for the $35 Aakash tablet. The publication quoted Tuli as saying, “I don't care about creating the iPad killer. I care about the three billion people who can afford this device.” Agarwal, 53, a professor of computer science at MIT, is also the President of edX, the new combined online offerings of Harvard, MIT, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Texas. Over 400,000 are currently enrolled in the education programme. “We've created dramatic access to learning for students worldwide. By reinventing online learning, we can dramatically improve what we do on campus,” Agarwal said.
“EdX continues to up the ante by increasing partners, classes (seven to dozens for spring 2013) and innovations, such as virtual laboratories,” Forbes added. Datawind had won the tender in 2010 to supply 1 lakh Aakash tablets for a price of around $49 per unit. A new version of the tablet PC, featuring a 1 Ghz processor, four-hour battery time, capacitive screen and Android 4.0, is expected to be launched in India on November 11.