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Mr Limaye,
I do not recall if i did respond to your query earlier. In which case I sincerely regret the delay.

We provide these laptops on the basis of the three key principles: Early Adoption (younger children), Child Ownership and Saturation (one has it, all have it).

Then we distribute them in quantities: 10,000 and above and expect 20% advance and 80% in 90 days L/C along with the order.

For quantities smaller than 10,000 the price includes extra transaction costs @ 10% above the base price along with 100% advance.

The price can be understood as follows:

OLPC XO is a bit like a "school in a box". The government wants to appoint 3 million teachers in its schools. Given the existing quality challenges of teaching, any recruitment is likely to dilute the "quality" further. In such a setting, having a laptop that is designed with a 360 degree understanding of school education across continents and cultures is likely to offer exceptional, transformational social gains- if only the education leadership is willing to appreciate it.

The laptop is not only designed for the villages, address every challenge that has been raised in various research studies, experiences as well as meetings, it also children to learn by themselves, thereby easing the challenges of the education system.

So consider that it has about 200 applications that respond to various skills that children need to learn and build upon. Even at Rs 100 per application, that amounts to Rs 20,000.

Then it has multitude of features that no laptop in the world has that help children leapfrog into the modern times. That is extra and its cost is not even worth counting. Were we to do so. it will be well above the price points or the cost point for OLPC XO we are talking about.

Then we provide 100 digital books that will each cost some Rs 250. That accounts for another Rs 25,000.

Then aagin it costs only Rs 100 over 5 years to power the laptop against Rs 15000 for a desktop that consumes 120 Watts of electricity.

Just the speaking function that has more than 50 languages may create phenomenal value considering each Rosetta Stone language costs $300 for one language!

One may go on and on. The fact is that for the value conscious it offers serious value and is more than free - it pays back instantly many times over.

For the cost conscious any positive sum is a cost and therefore avoidable.

There are two other key values besides the three I stated above.. viz., networking and open source and the laptop is configured with.

So its an easy choice for a visionary leader. Those who live in the past are unlikely to appreciate it.

I hear from the powers that be that they would like our IITs to replicate this laptop. I just ask, if in 1998, 3 years after cell phones had spread acros sthe developing world we had to tell our IITs to create a new cell phone, how many of us will be using them today?

I want to share humbly with every educational leader in India, will you appoint your father as the technology head of your company?

I also want to ask every educational leader in India, isn't any amount of money spent on something that does not add value a waste and any amount that creates value too low a price to pay?

How do we judge any investment? By how much we save? By what we can afford without knowing what it can do? Or setting a goal and investing what it takes to get there?

There is a hairline between success and failure. In the case of education in India, that line is a huge chasm. OLPC can be at least one of the ONLY available solutions as we speak to redeem ourselves. I am more than certain tomorrow we will have many. Meanwhile, we may have wasted many a mind that may have contributed phenomenally to our nation building - in productive as well as social and civil terms.

Why is it that it takes a Mrs Sonia Gandhi to remind our system that the roots of Naxalism need to be understood and addressed and everyone else is happy putting their right finger on the trigger?

May be because that may just be the time a society takes to evolve. As Amartya Sen put it, in thinking science we are at least a century behind the west. The $10 laptop believer has already set us behind by several years and is all set to add a few more precious years, if not decades to that!

So, in a nutshell, you can buy it in the lots of 10,000 at all inclusive and warrantied along with all applications, software etc for Rs 15,000 a piece compared to about Rs 30000 plus for a traditional computer that may not work in villages, will have far fewer functionalities to learn, will consume a lot more electricity than the total cost of OLPC over a 5 year period and no matter which way you chose to go, will add value that our society is yet to begin appreciating. Ask the National Science Foundation of teh US or the President of Uruguay or Peru or Uganda or Mauritius!!



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About The Author

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Satish Jha

Corporate/Business/Professional

Madhya Pradesh ,  INDIA

Leading Process Consultant & Business Strategy Planner.Ex Airforce Engineer.Qualification:BE from MANIT, Bhopal ,MTech from Thapar, Punjab. I worked as Director (Projects) in RKDF Group. The projects recently undertaken are a Community Radio Radio Popcorn, the first Community Radio of Bhopal. The second project is a family magazine Madhya Bharat. The third project is a portal www.visionbharat.com. I have a project centric mindset and I like to undertake new projects and my versatile experience is handy in project handling. Presently I am focusing on Research in e learning and completing my Masters Degree from NITTTR, Bhopal.

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