[OLPC India] Partnering with OLPC in India

Satish Jha OLPC satish at laptop.org
Tue Sep 9 10:34:54 EDT 2008

My response follows in italic bolds below.
Thanks, Satish Jha
  "Any organization willing to support G1G1 in India must commit to have
100,000 XOs in inventory for sales as requested by the G1G1 buyer. The other

will be distributed to needy children in regions selected by OLPC India."

*That is for the organizations, corporate etc. Individuals may be able to
order as last year in any quantity starting with one. However to create the
capacity to distribute laptops at any place, 100,000 is the minimal size
level for it to be viable. So, in case a business is interested in
supporting OLPC with G1g1 program, it will need to create an inventory of
100,000 XOs before taking that route.*

If you happen to have done your homework correctly you would notice, there
has been plenty of debate on it in the past. Forget an organization, no
country has "ordered and received" as many XOs, not even close to it. A few
countries pulled out of the OLPC pilots and moved to Intel Classmates or
other low-cost laptops for the very same purpose.

*Not true. Peru and Uruguay have broken the 100,000 and a million XO ceiling
respectively. Intel's Classmate is a PC and its not gone for any largescale
implementation anywhere. That said, its easier to order a PC that has no
requirement of meeting the principles of distribution that XO adopts. Still,
insofar as we know, the distribution of Classmate has not exceeded that of
XO which is poised to ship about 1 million XOs in the first year of its

* *

*Then again, as Professor Nicholas Negroponte would say, Classmates is akin
to McDonalds where OLPC XO is like the World Food Program.*

Have you got the stats on how far behind OLPC is on pending shipments or if
they've even figured out how to replace broken hardware, or are they even
thinking of tagging XO's anywhere close to the 100 USD figure sometime in
the recent future, which to me sounds awfully far-fetched right now.

*As far as I know, as of last week, none. We have greater capacity to
produce that we have been able to distribute. Please let me know the broken
hardware and we will find your answers.*

* *

*As regards $100 laptop, if you keep adding features, the cost will likely
go up. If we turn XO like any other laptop, just relax the conditions of a
screen that can work under the sun and robustness against being dropped (the
kind of casing it comes with) and adjust for the dollar depreciation and the
scale of production, its pretty much a $100 laptop. But its conceptualiser
does not want to compromise on those features that few laptops have.*

* *

*That said if you just think that it comes with XP and Office included that
will cost about $500 in the market place, its like being given MS Office and
a laptop and another $300 to use it. From that point of view it looks like a
no-brainer.. and I hope we understand that.*

Well, if it's all about the education, then I firmly believe no number
should not be small enough for a pilot. They'd missed their mark on this
before and various other manufactures seemed to have taken a good advantage
off it, and now you seem to be following suit. Would suggest you re-think
your strategies on that collaboration part.

*Any number must be viable. If you do the math, just to put up one global
trainer at a school in a village may cost almost as much as the monthly
gross income of all villagers.. That's precisely we need scale. We must also
meet the criteria of  every child in a village and a school. *

* *

*If XO was a business proposition and we sold a laptop, it will beat any
competition hands down. It's the five principles of XO that make it
different from a simple product that is being sold off the shelf. And there
is some merit to both approaches. But XO is nothing if not an educational

Would it be possible to have a broader picture of how things that have been
planned, right from selection of schools.. to deployments, monitoring of
usage & progress reporting, networking and scalability.

*There is NO selection of schools as such. It depends on the sponsor where
they want to go and then again it also depends on OLPC's willingness to
accept that suggestion on the grounds of five principles and logistics. On
all other technical aspects there is regular update provided globally,
generally through the listservs and sometimes through the media.*

Does OLPC India, plan to raise funds for all deployments from just corporate
houses, or is it willing to look for alternative sources from donors such as
ITU/WFP/Unicef/Read Canada, Save the Children/ World Bank/ IT societies and
foreign embassies and the likes.

*OLPC India will tap every possible resource that can sponsor deployment of
XOs according to the five principles. Just that several institutions pointed
out above are not donor organizations. *

How is the Govt planning to be involved, both the central and state

*We have to make a case to the government, state by state and at the center
to consider the benefits of OLPC's XO for making India of tomorrow a nation
of people  skilled with contemporary knowledge and tools. How they plan is
entirely up to them and how we may be able to case will significantly
influence how far we go.*

Since the XO is rather looked as an enabler for better education, are you
also looking to tap into resources such as NCERT/CBSE for educational
material or online libraries? I believe there are quite a few organizations
like E-shiksha and others, that are already working on FOSS education
material, are they planned to be packaged with the XO's.

*We are in touch with or planning to be connected with nearly every
organization that is engaged in primary and middle school education.*

How do you plan on customization and localization from state to state? Do
you also plan to have an integrated large scale network for sharing of
resources and material.

*Localization is the responsibility of local partners and sponsors. We
surely are moving towards coordination the expanding network.*

* That said, I would also urge that we should look at all issues from a
positive perspective. Any negativity does contributes little to progress.*
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