Another digital leap forward in India

India has unveiled a $35 computer prototype as part of its program to provide connectivity to its students and teachers at affordable prices. The human resources development ministry said the price would gradually fall to $10 a piece. The Linux-based computer is equipped with an Internet browser, a PDF reader and several other facilities.

India said connectivity to all its colleges and universities is key to achieving its education goals. Home to a billion-plus population, the country's literacy rate stands at 65 percent, according to the 2001 census figures.

Recently, it auctioned off its airwaves for third-generation services to enable super-fast multimedia streaming of wireless.The move is aimed at bringing India's online market on a par with its booming cell-phone business through Internet penetration with technology allowing quick access, data transfer and entertainment on mobile handsets.

The country has announced plans to link up all its 250,000 village councils by 2012 in a bid to plug massive broadband divides between rural and urban communities as it emerges as one of the world's few growth markets.

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