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EPIC Foundation Launched First Indian Designed, Manufactured AI-Enabled Education Tablet with BharatGPT

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EPIC Foundation (a not-for-profit organization) launched the first designed-in-India, Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled, indigenously manufactured education tablet on February 13, 2024, at India Habitat Center, New Delhi. The integrated BharatGPT virtual assistant and AI/ML-based inter-lingual translation for Indian languages is set to break the language barriers and make digital learning accessible to students across the country. This day heralds a new era for sustainable electronics in the country.

The MILKYWAY Tablet comes with an 8-inch 1280×800 IPS display, MediaTek MT8766A processor, 3/4GB RAM, 32/64GB storage, 5MP front and 8MP rear cameras, and a 5,100 mAh battery. It is backed by Android 13, supports 4G LTE connectivity, and has a sleek design with 5-finger touch support. Besides these, the key features include the integrated India-made BharatGPT virtual assistant to aid students, options for video and chatbots, a speech translation app by CoRover.ai, and a focus on repairability for sustainability.

Mr. S Krishnan, Secretary, MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology)
Mr. S Krishnan, Secretary, MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology)

Mr. S Krishnan, Secretary, MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology), on the occasion of launching the tablet, commented, “It’s a matter of great pride that we are launching an India-designed, India-inspired education tablet which will be of great use to a vast majority of students across India. It is a milestone event in the Indian IT landscape and shows that we are second to none at the global level for developing IT solutions. Increasing value addition in the electronics sector is key and thereby the need for increasing the share of electronic component production in India. India has already achieved commendable success in creating an ecosystem for domestically manufacturing electronics products on a large-scale.”

Designed by VVDN Technologies in collaboration with MediaTek India and CoRover.ai, the tablets come embedded with unique features of reparability and upgradability to address the pressing concerns of the digital divide and the accumulation of electronic refuse in India. These features ensure a long-life to the tablets, save on maintenance costs, and enable the users to upgrade it with time. This tablet will be commercially available soon. Even before its commercial availability, the company already got an order for 12,000 pieces and expecting a sale of over 1 lakh units in a few months time. The other outstanding feature of this tablet is it comes with BraratGPT an Indianized alternative to ChatGPT.  

Dr. Ajai Chowdhry, Chairman, EPIC Foundation
Dr. Ajai Chowdhry, Chairman, EPIC Foundation

Dr. Ajai Chowdhry, Chairman, EPIC Foundation shared, “Aligned with our overarching goal of elevating Indian electronics industry and the initiative of Atmanirbharta to the next level, we want to build products in such a way that the components are easily replaceable and upgradable. Launch of this tablet is the first step in that direction. Under normal conditions, repair expenses often surpass the cost of purchasing a new device, and people often discard their devices in 2 to 3 months time and buy new ones. This repairable and upgradable MILKYWAY tablet, besides saving on maintenance and replacement costs to the user, also reduces e-waste. We already have an order of 12,000 units and we expect more in future.”

The new product will address two critical aspects 1. Driving the demand for ‘Indian, repairable, sustainable’ electronics products and 2. Remove financial and logistical obstacles that prevent schools from obtaining repairable, high impact devices and increase life of the product. Aimed at enabling digital learning at the school and college level, this education tablet comes integrated with the BharatGPT virtual assistant and will highlight AI/ML based inter-lingual translation for Indian languages (Voice-2-Voice, Text-2-Text etc) to support language diversity of India.

Mr. Sanjiv Krishen, Founder & Chairman, Iris Global Services
Mr. Sanjiv Krishen, Founder & Chairman, Iris Global Services

MrSanjiv Krishen, Founder & Chairman, Iris Global Services shared, “Iris was incepted in 1996 and we are currently a National Distributor for many leading IT brands. Last year, we crossed a turnover of Rs. 2000 crores and this year our aim is to cross Rs. 3000.  Education industry and security segments have been among the prime sectors for our distribution and now our focus is more on distributing Made in India products. We often go beyond the traditional methods of distribution while dealing with the education segment—we conduct online classes for the students and guide how the teachers can educate the students in the most effective ways. There has been a great demand for tablets in the education sector. We are proud that we are associated with EPIC to distributor their India-made MILKYWAY Tablet. We are sure that this tablet will be great success.”

The microprocessor for this tablet has been provided by MediaTek, a global provider of microprocessors. On this occasion, Mr. Anku Jain, MD at MeidaTek said, “We are glad to be part of this path-breaking Made in India tablet and its launch. We proud that we could provide our MediaTek MT8766A processor for this device. This high-performance chip will be the best match to this tablet.”

The launch of this education tablet aligns with the MeitY’s objective to enhance electronic component manufacturing in India and promote value-addition in the electronics sector.  As the lines between technology and humanity continue to blur, the AI-enabled education tablet stands as a testament to India’s technological prowess and commitment to sustainable development. By addressing the digital divide and electronic waste challenges, the EPIC Foundation is not only transforming the cultural landscape of education but also redefining the boundaries of what is possible in the realm of Indian electronics.

Mr. Himanshu Chawla, Director & Co-Founder, Iris Waves Pvt Ltd (a part of Iris group of companies)
Mr. Himanshu Chawla, Director & Co-Founder, Iris Waves Pvt Ltd (a part of Iris group of companies)

Mr. Himanshu Chawla, Director & Co-Founder, Iris Waves Pvt Ltd (a part of Iris group of companies) revealed, “This tablet is really a great innovation. Its applicability goes beyond the education segment and it can be used in many other segments too. For now, our main focus will be on promoting this tablet in the education space. The government of India wants 1.5 crore tablets in the education segment before the end of this year so we see a limitless opportunity for this tablet.”

In a nutshell

This AI-enabled MILKYWAY Tablet, designed, developed and manufactured in India and specially tailored for the education segment, is set to be a landmark moment in India and it is expected to take the Indian education segment by storm. It will be the forerunner to many more innovations that we are going to witness in the coming years. Beyond the digital divide and electronic waste, the story of this first Indian-designed AI-enabled education tablet is a chronicle of human ambition, determination and spirit of innovation.

Covered By: NCN MAGAZINE / EPIC Foundation

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