labels: bharat sanchar nigam ltd, telecom
GOI to encourage sub-Rs10,000 pc news
Our Corporate Bureau
15 January 2005

Chennai: In order to spread the usage of computer and computer literacy amongst the masses, the government of India (GOI) is talking to computer manufacturers to make a personal computer for less than Rs10,000.

"Before June there will be a computer priced below Rs10,000 in the market," announced Dayanidhi Maran, union minister for communications & IT. Addressing the press after launching Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited''s (BSNL) broadband service, Dataone, he also said the central government is planning to give all the schools in the country computers free of cost so that children become familiar with computers at an early age. The sub-Rs10,000 computer will come handy for this project.

He also said that the government''s focus is to popularise computing in regional languages. "We have spoken to Microsoft Corporation in this connection. The US company has agreed to launch its operating software in different Indian languages. The Tamil version of MS Office will be launched soon."

When queried about the encouragement given to Indian-born software companies that have developed similar office suites, he said, "Shakti software is there in India. The government has asked various departments to given preference to Indian software."

According to him the government will also allow free downloading of regional language fonts from its website so that internet content in Indian languages could be developed at a lower cost.

Earlier, launching BSNL''s Dataone, service Maran said, the public sector company will start offering broadband internet connectivity at speeds starting from 256kbps and going up to 20 MB. "By February 2005, the service will be offered in 198 cities. By the end of this year, BSNL will have a broadband subscriber base of 1 million."

For home users, BSNL charges Rs500 per month (annual rate Rs5,000) for a 256 kbps connection and Rs1,200 (annual rate Rs12,000 for business subscribers. The download and upload limits are 1GB for home users and 4GB for business accounts.

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GOI to encourage sub-Rs10,000 pc