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Laptop experience for Rajasthan villagers

Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: The Prime Minister's Model Village Scheme, launched this past weekend in Sriganganagar district of Rajasthan, has a laptop as the centre piece. The scheme, meant to address the challenges of development in villages which have a majority of inhabitants from the Scheduled Castes and Tribes, will make use of the XO laptop of the OLPC (One Laptop per Child) initiative to teach.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot along with Union Minister for Social Justice Mukul Wasnik and Rural Development Minister C.P. Joshi joined the showcasing of the laptop experience at Keekerwali village in Sriganganagar at the time of the launch. Mr. Gehlot and the Union Ministers found the laptop as an appropriate device to implement the ambitious programme. The One Laptop per Child is an initiative envisioned and created by Nicholas Negroponte of MIT, Cambridge, US, who was inspired by the Baramati Conference, co-founded by Satish Jha in 2001, to consider possibilities of using computers as learning aids for the disadvantaged children in the villages of India and other developing countries.

“The many advantages of our XO laptops inspired the local administration to consider making OLPC the centre piece of the programme,” says Satish Jha, Chairman, OLPC India Foundation.

Two months ago Mr. Jha donated 40 XO laptops to the villagers of Keekerwali, inspiring the local administration to take a closer look at implementing the programme with the help of laptops. Collector Ashutosh Pednekar was delighted at the prospect of using OLPC to implement the programme. Now the local Principals are finding the device a working solution to many problems the villagers face.

OLPC's XO laptop claims to be better than the $100 laptop prototype designed by the Union HRD Ministry.

The XO brings together teaching and tech to make learning with rugged, connected laptops regardless of infrastructure and resource constraints.

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