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CAG slams HRD ministry for Aakash failure

Posted: 10 Sep 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:CAG  Ministry of Human Resource Development  Aakash  IIT-Rajasthan 

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) slammed the Ministry of Human Resource Development for the shortcomings in the Aakash tablet project. The government auditor raised questions over the "arbitrary" selection of IIT-Rajasthan to launch the tablet without checking whether the institute is capable of undertaking the country's ambitious project.

The CAG, in its report tabled in Parliament, found that IIT-Rajasthan had told the Ministry that around 90 per cent of the tablets supplied by Datawind between August and November 2011 were rejected by it due to complaints in the devices such as heating and they being slow, reported The Hindu.

"The Ministry decided to launch Aakash through the IITR without ascertaining their capacity to undertake the work. This adversely affected the project delivery. It also placed Rs. 47.42 crore at IITR's disposal without carrying out a prudent assessment," the report said.

Under the Akash tablet project, the government has plans of distributing the low-cost access-cum-computing device at a cost of Rs. 1,500 to students and teachers for educational purposes.

The HRD ministry failed to provide any justification for selecting IITR to execute the order and thus its selection was arbitrary, the report stated.

"The audit view is further borne out by the fact that IIT(s) Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Bombay and IISC, Bangalore had participated. However, they were overlooked and a relatively new IITR was selected ahead of others."

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