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UPA woos young voters with Rs 500 laptop


Sumit Pande,CNN-IBN
Feb 03, 2009 at 07:15pm IST

New Delhi: Just ahead of elections the United Progressive Alliance is showering sops. It is trying to attract young voters by promising a a laptop for just Rs 500which will be on display at Tirupati on Tuesday.

The UPA Government is launching the cheapest laptop ever seen priced at Rs 500 even as the private sector, with its best efforts, has not managed to bring down the price of a laptop lower than $100 (Rs 5,000).

It is one the important schemes of the UPA Government and it has to be announced before the model code of conduct comes into effect with the Election Commission announcing elections dates by February end.

The laptop holds promise for the young and the restless like first time voters and MBA aspirant Achintya, who for his project has had to borrow a computer from his friend for a day.

"If we have a laptop in our home, it is very easy for us to do our things. We can work in our home at night also," says Achintya.

The ultra low-cost device has been developed with support of IIT Madras, Indian Institute of Science and some B Tech students. It can be charged with a two-watt power input and has a two GB memory which can be enhanced.

The configuration can be upgraded. The government will not subsidise the device, it has already invested in its development.

"It will have the capability to project on a screen," RP Agarwal, Secretary Higher Education, says.

To help students make use of the low-cost device 20,000 colleges and institutes across the country are being e-connected in the next three years at a total cost of Rs 4,600 crore.

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