The OLPC Arrives

Nicholas Negroponte’s project, OLPC or One Laptop Per Child, has finally made it to India via private partnership.

Via TC-I:

After weathering multiple rebuffs, Nicholas Negroponte’s much touted One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project has finally found a foothold in India, in the form of ADAG (Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group). The Digital Bridge Foundation, part of ADAG, is providing the technology backbone and logistics for installation of OLPC’s white and green laptops in primary schools. Dubbed as XO, the laptop is finally being mass-produced in China.

Atanu Dey on the OLPC:

I have been following the OLPC story for a while on this blog. I think that technology — especially information and communications technology — presents tools that are going to transform how education is done and what it achieves. It will really be appropriate to call it a revolution and it is just a matter of “when”, not “if.” Tools transform; they change processes, and eventually they change the product. The process of education which has essentially remained unchanged for at least a hundred years is ripe for change, whether or not the current bosses of the system are willing or not. But I don’t think that the XO is the answer to any of the basic problems that Indian education system faces. Some people just don’t get it: that something can be quite useful and good, and at the same time inappropriate for a given situation. I have no reason to doubt the glowing reviews that the XO has received. I have no difficulty believing that all else being equal, a child with an XO is better off than one without one. All else being equal, a person with a BMW is better off than a person without a BMW. Negroponte speaks very eloquently about how children gifted an XO get terribly excited about going to school and learning. So would I. So would the child get excited about going to school if he gets the promise of a much-need mid-day meal. Incentives matter. But eventually we have to face the fact that if children are not excited about going to school and have to be enticed by promises of goodies, then we have a problem whose genesis lies deep within the system and superficially dealing with the symptoms are bound to be in vain.

Picture uploaded by Wayan Vota



  1. Anonymous September 8, 2008

    Atanu Dey sounds like someone who thinks rather than does things.

  2. Anonymous September 8, 2008

    I can guarantee that Anil Ambani has nothing to do with OLPC. Wish he had come forward to have a joint press conference with Negroponte and offered 10% of his profits to support OLPC. His priorities seem different and he is busy buying games and teams in Europe. Just see the observations of OLPC India CEO Satish Jha to Business Week article and you will know that Ambani’s may not have spend a penny on OLPC in India.

  3. Anonymous September 8, 2008

    The previous two comments were most certainly made by Satish Jha.

  4. Anonymous January 6, 2009

    just saw these.. interesting! satish jha

  5. Mala January 6, 2009

    Yes, the free mid-day meal has been one of the carrots that have brought children from poor families to school. The OLPC promises to be a very juicy carrot too. And to make sure that children eventually troop into schools without being lured by such goodies, teachers too need to be enthused…One Laptop Per Teacher maybe?


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