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How The Failed Aakash Tablet Is An Object Lesson In India's Long Road Ahead To Tech Innovation

Photo by Jason Pietra; Sculpture by Megan Caponetto

Last October, Indian politician Kapil Sibal called a press conference. Indian politicians call press conferences all the time, even those with a last name that is not Gandhi. And with two portfolios—he is both India's minister of human-resource development and its minister of communications and information technology—Sibal typically has a lot he wants to talk about.

But this time he actually had news that would be noticed beyond New Delhi. With a phalanx of reporters and photographers gathered in a government auditorium, Sibal, a Harvard Law grad with a halo of white hair, held up a device he called the Aakash, which is Hindi for "sky." It looked like an iPad.

The most remarkable Aakash data point was its price: $35. Meant for the millions of students who can't even afford textbooks, the Aakash is supposed to be India's iPad knockoff. "There are some moments in history," Sibal said, taking a long pause, "that will be milestones recognized by future generations. This is one such moment."

For Indian government minister Kapil Sibal, the Aakash would be proof of India's global stature. | Photo by Thomas Liggett
In this one device, you can find the high hopes not just of an ambitious politician but of an entire nation.

Sibal said that he was about to give 500 prototypes to students for testing. He announced that the government would distribute 10 million at the subsidized $35 price, while millions more would be available for $60 apiece. The device would have videoconferencing capability, a touch screen, and three hours of battery life—not to mention the ability to turn around India's global reputation.

For all its success at churning out engineers by the hundreds of thousands and sending Silicon Valley countless gifted computer scientists, India has never been much good at producing hardware. This is why Sibal seemed so eager and triumphant, and why the Aakash is so significant. In this one device, you can find the extraordinarily high hopes not just of one ambitious politician but of an entire nation. Or, rather, you would be able to find such things—if you could find an Aakash at all.

The Aakash, you see, never made it to market. So this spring, I went to India to see if I could find an Aakash anyway—and to learn what went wrong.

The price of a PC has dropped precipitously over the years. In 1957, the IBM 610, which was the first computer designed for use by one person, cost $55,000 ($450,000 in 2012 dollars). Today, it's quite easy to find a PC for $300—but for most of the world, that's still a prohibitively expensive price tag.

Indians take a certain pride in making things cheaper. The Hindi word to describe this is jugaad, roughly translated as "frugal innovation." "It means having to constantly adjust to changing circumstances and make do with what you have," says Matt Eyring, a managing partner at the consulting firm Innosight. For consumers, this means coming up with off-label uses for the appliances you do have; some farmers, for instance, use top-loading laundry machines to churn milk. For manufacturers, it increasingly means coming up with devices that can do a job with less power and under harsh conditions, such as refrigerators designed for those at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Applying jugaad to the PC, perhaps the most revolutionary device of our time, is a worthy goal.

Photo by Thomas Liggett

This vision, of course, is not uniquely Indian. In the spring of 2006, Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the MIT Media Lab and One Laptop Per Child, came to New Delhi to tout plans for his $100 laptop. N.K. Sinha, then a senior official in the Ministry of Human Resource Development working under Sibal's predecessor, was unimpressed. "Why get it from MIT?" he said. "If they can make it for $100, we can make it for $10." The logic wasn't ridiculous: India was doing that kind of thing with software and outsourcing all the time.

So was born the idea of the Aakash, or as it was originally called, the Sakshaat—the Hindi word for "right in front of you" is a reference to when a god appears before you for a face-to-face conversation. But the effort didn't get started in earnest until 2009, when Sinha handed the project to an engineering professor named Prem Kumar Kalra. Kalra had just been named the director of the Indian Institute of Technology-Rajasthan, a new branch of IIT where the curriculum includes product development along with traditional engineering training.

The IIT system has produced world-class engineers and computer scientists, including respected VC Vinod Khosla and Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior. Its reputation in Silicon Valley is such that Scott Adams poked fun at it in a Dilbert strip. ("Since I became project manager, no one has returned my calls or responded to my emails," a man says in the cartoon. "Luckily, I'm an IIT graduate, mentally superior to most people on earth, so I finished the project myself.")

But India has been notably less successful in keeping that top talent at home or at translating that brainpower into marketable and monetizable technology. IIT Rajasthan, one of a clutch of new schools in the system, was supposed to change that—and the challenge of the $10 laptop seemed like the perfect place to start.

After weeks of courtship by phone and email, Professor Kalra agrees to meet me, and I fly to Jodhpur, in the northwestern Indian state of Rajasthan. Rajasthan has long been famous for its maharajas, medieval forts, and Guinness-record-length mustaches, but never for technology. On a dizzyingly hot morning, my rickshaw careens past trash-chomping cows and a kaleidoscope of saris to the dusty cinder-block gates of IIT Rajasthan.

It's undergrads like Sumeet Rajpurohit who really need the Aakash. A 20-year-old computer-science student, Rajpurohit is specializing in Internet-communications technology. Yet he tells me that the only computing device he owns is a Rokea phone (a made-in-China 2G knockoff of a Nokia). Rajpurohit comes from a village a few hours' drive south of Jodhpur, where maybe three or four families own computers. His does not. Anupam Gupta, a project officer specializing in electrical engineering at IIT Rajasthan, explains that of the nearly 3 million students at India's 20,000 colleges, perhaps 10% have their own computers.

With the exception of when Prem Kumar Kalra accuses me of "spying," he's as gracious in person as he had been evasive over the phone.

The longer I spend at IIT Rajasthan, the clearer it becomes that absolutely nobody wants to talk about the Aakash. Kalra, who had agreed to an interview, is suddenly busy. Few students or professors admit to any personal knowledge of the project; one afternoon, after asking too many questions, I'm told to leave the premises.

At times, the dodging turns farcical. The morning after my ejection, I return to try to interview Professor Sandeep Kumar Yadav, an assistant professor who also specializes in electrical engineering.

"I'm looking for Dr. Sandeep," I say to the man I know to be Dr. Sandeep. "Someone suggested interviewing him about the Aakash."

He nods slowly, meeting my gaze as he rises from the swivel chair in his large cubicle. I think he's going to greet me or shake my hand.

"Dr. Sandeep is not here right now," he says. Then he walks past me and vanishes through a door.

The next day, I finally meet Prem Kumar Kalra. With the exception of the moment when he accuses me of "spying" (by interviewing students) and threatens to call the police on me for said offense, he's as gracious and garrulous in person as he had been evasive and capricious over the phone and by email. He talks a lot about his goal of graduating "sustainably self-inspiring engineers" and about his proposed collaboration with Stanford University, which has been coined REALM (short for Realizing Engineers' Aspirations for the Last Man, Woman, and Child). "My goal is to make me redundant. It's all about empowerment of different kinds of synergy," he says. "My inspiration comes from the gods."

Photo by Thomas Liggett

He could have used a little help from the gods two years ago, after the tender was put out for the production of the Aakash. The cheapest bid came from DataWind, a Canadian company run by Punjabi brothers Suneet and Raja Tuli. DataWind's track record was a single gadget that had flopped. (CNet's review: "Want free web surfing on an easy-to-use and speedy device? Then the PocketSurfer 2 is exactly not what you're looking for.") But DataWind's bid was unbeatably low: It would produce 100,000 Aakashes for 227 million rupees, or $4.3 million. (The Tulis declined to be interviewed for this story.) And for a minute there, at Sibal's Jobsian press conference last October, the Aakash seemed, finally, to be a reality.

Throughout the month, hundreds of Aakashes began to arrive at IIT Rajasthan for testing. The problems were immediately evident. According to one source close to the university, a third of the devices didn't start at all. Most of those that did either failed the basic drop test, overheated quickly, or saw their screens freeze until the battery ran out. A peek inside the box revealed circuitry and imported components held together by electrical tape. "It wasn't up to the mark. It was slow and would get stuck at times," says Ashutosh Mittal, one of the students on the testing team. "We tested many devices and most were faulty." He doesn't have an Aakash to show me.

I do find a handful of defenders. "I found nothing wrong with it," says Ashish Katiyar, another test-team member. "The touch screen wasn't that sensitive, but at that cost, it was compensated for. I found it to be a magical device, really miraculous." He can't show me one, though.

Professor Gupta tells me: "The goal was to have a device that simply works." In his view, the Aakash did not. But he can't show me one either.

When I begin to ask Kalra for his version of what happened and why, he shuts down, except to say that journalists before me have tried and failed on this quest, as if this story were some sort of reportorial holy grail. "A lot of people came to us, but their stories did not come out because they did not have the same thinking process. They were not on the same wavelength," he says, stroking his mustache. "People do not believe you, and so they oppose you. The time will come when they follow you."

For now, the only people who seem to be following Kalra are DataWind's lawyers. The manufacturer reportedly claims that the school owes it $100,000, while the school replies that DataWind owes it $500,000. Kalra acknowledges that the ordeal has tested the limits of his abilities. "You do well under pressure, because it cooks you," he says. "But overpressure bursts you."

Kalra says he has no Aakashes on hand. But he does have a motivational thought. "How did Europe become a leader?" he asks. I stammer around for the right answer, but he delivers it first. "They had one aim," he says. "Leadership in every area."

His point seems especially poignant since, by the time I meet him, Kalra no longer leads the Aakash project. A few weeks earlier, it turns out, the government had sought—and received—his resignation. The request came from Kapil Sibal.

An ample man, jowly in an almost Churchillian way, Minister Sibal is finishing up a briefing with education reporters when I walk into his art-filled New Delhi office. When he learns what I am there to discuss, he stiffens. "I have an important lunch appointment," he says. "I have guests waiting for me at home." Our interview is over.

An aide, Uma Shankar, agrees to talk. He insists that the Aakash is on track: "We are procuring in bulk and distributing to students." Moments later, though, he seems to contradict himself, claiming that the success of the Aakash is that it will change expectations: "Aakash has created a new price point that people try to reach. We pushed the idea that it's possible. The marketplace will deliver on its own."


What marketplace, exactly? India has delivered copious amounts of world-class software, but little hardware. One afternoon in Mumbai, I visit the city's largest electronics hub, Lamington Road, to gauge the state of the nation's computer-manufacturing industry. I stop to chat with Bimal Jhaveri, who owns Hardtrac Computer Services, a chain of 11 retail stores that sell laptops, desktops, and tablets. Not a single product in Hardtrac's inventory is made in India. "India has never invested in computer-hardware manufacturing," he says. "It's always promoted software. The government would need to help manufacturers with land and tax breaks. There are no Indian brands in computers."

And the Aakash? The only place he has ever seen one is in the newspaper. Not a single shopper has ever asked for one, and he doubts one ever will.

After Kalra's forced resignation, Sibal appointed Professor Deepak B. Phatak of IIT Mumbai as the new head of the Aakash project. Phatak is a 64-year-old computer scientist whose website is organized under basic headings including "Educational Information" (he got his PhD at IIT Mumbai) and "Recent Publications." One heading, curiously, is "Dream." Underneath, it reads: "Dr. Phatak's dream is to see a resurgent India catching up with the world using Information Technology as the spring board [sic]."

"You can give 100 names to it. But basically, it amounts to a deficit of trust," says Deepak B. Phatak. "Trust evaporated, and each side saw the worst in the other."

A genial man with a pencil mustache, plastic glasses, and a love for knickknacks, Phatak has zero experience with product procurement, great enthusiasm for the Aakash, and an appreciation of the burden he has taken on in what's supposed to be his last year before retirement. "I have not slept in several days. I'm surviving on tea and cigarettes lately," he tells me over Sunday lunch at his house, which sits amid lovely gardens on the IIT campus in Mumbai. (Well, tea, cigarettes, and his wife's aloo ghobi, a curried potato-and-cauliflower stew that is delicious.) "Every morsel of time that I have will go into this process until it is clean and clear and put in place."

Phatak is passionate about extending education into every corner of India. On the walls of his house, amid the mounted elephant heads—representations of the god Ganesha—are numerous photos of his sons, both of whom are engineers. His dream was for them to go to America, and they have. Every windowsill is crammed with tokens of appreciation from have-nots, students from the remote, rural schools where he regularly gives speeches, hoping to open young minds to the possibilities beyond their villages. Phatak believes the Aakash is for these young people. For him, it's the as-yet-unrealized vision of Gandhian self-reliance, equal measures economic development, social justice, and Indian can-do spirit. "Young people always get ideas if there is some channel," he says. "If there is support, fantastic things can happen."

Phatak's first months on the job have not been fantastic. Nobody on the Aakash 1 team will give him a firsthand account of what went wrong. He hasn't spoken with Kalra. And the only words that Sibal has said to him were during the meeting at which he was named Kalra's successor. There were a dozen people in the room, and Phatak was sitting at the back. "Can you do it?" Sibal asked. Phatak nodded yes, and that was that.

From the reams of documents he has since read, he concluded that the missing ingredient has been trust. "You can give 100 names to it. But basically, it amounts to a deficit of trust," he says. "It failed because trust evaporated, and each side saw the worst in the other."

He has zeroed in on one particular rejected bank transfer. IIT Rajasthan withheld 10% of a payment to DataWind as a guarantee in case of technical problems. But this maneuver wasn't covered in the contract, so DataWind's bank rejected the entire transfer.

This, of course, addresses none of the technical failures, and when I ask Phatak about that, he concedes that one failing of the first Aakash may have been that its deadline was too ambitious. "Several decades too soon," he says. On a whiteboard in his office, Phatak has scrawled himself a reminder, Douglas Hofstadter's maxim about how hard it is to estimate how much time it will take to accomplish a complex task: "It takes longer than it should even if you take into account Hofstadter's law."

When I ask if he has a prototype of the Aakash that I can see, he shakes his head apologetically. He doesn't have a machine. What's more, he doesn't even have its specs.

The Aakash has become an object lesson in the Indian government's ability to create great expectations and its inability to deliver on them. The bold overpromise and subsequent underdelivery says a lot about not only India's managerial and technical shortcomings but also the desire of its politicians and media to promote a story of India as a rising superpower.

The eagerness to peddle this line seems not to have faded. The government still insists that the next-generation Aakash will debut this fall.

My hopes of seeing this fabled machine did not fade either. Finally, Phatak suggested that I contact WishTel, one of the manufacturers that is bidding to produce the next-generation Aakash, and I arranged an appointment with Milind Shah, WishTel's founder.

Shah and I meet one suffocating evening in the bar of a Mumbai airport hotel. He is just off a plane from New Delhi and is exhausted. As we sit watching two lounge singers, a laser show, and huge flames that intermittently and inexplicably burst from the stage floor, he tells me that he has spent the past several days in futile pursuit of Sibal and his entourage.

Shah, whose family has a business selling surveillance systems, hopes to make a tablet with educational materials in all 22 of India's official languages. For now, he is calling it the Ira Thing, after the Hindu goddess of wisdom, and proudly declares it "an education-delivery system."

When I ask to see the prototype, he happily obliges, pulling one out of his bag. Finally! He turns it on, the screen flickers, and then almost instantly fades away. I haven't even pressed a button, and already it has run out of power.

Harish Tyagi/epa/Corbis (Sibal); Gurinder Osan/AP/Dapd (Aakash tablet)

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  • Dileep_Sathe

    UPA’s aakashi failure
    UPA’s aakashi failure is not a surprise for me because I am doing research in teaching / learning S.S.C. / H.S.C. physics for more than 35 years. In fact, I have fully realized (i) the need of simplicity in making the progress in large part of our country (that is Bharat) and (ii) limitations of computer-assisted teaching / learning in India (the small part of our country) as well as advanced country like U.S.A., UK.
    Take, for example, the case of Prof. Frank Wilczek, an American leader of theoretical physics and a 62-year old Nobel Laureate. He had maximum trouble in learning Newton’s laws of motion, about 45 years ago when he was in equivalent of S.S.C. / H.S.C. This is surprising because that time U.S.A. was an advanced country, had successfully landed Neil Armstrong on Moon, had many Nobel Laureates working in the country, had books of reputed authors like Feynmann, Halliday, Resnick. So we, all teachers in the world, have to address the question: Why Prof. Frank Wilczek  had trouble in learning Newton’s laws? And my research addresses this and similar problems and I am sure computer or other similar forms like tablet cannot provide answers to comments such as the one noted above.
    On the other hand, I strongly feel that the principle of simplicity can provide some good solutions. But I have not seen any politician following this principle, after Mahatmaji Gandhi, whereas half of my research is because I am following the principle simplicity. Interested readers may contact me on 09922467861or  In fact, the great internal divide in our country – that Bharat / India – became the part of a title of a national conference in Kondhawa, Pune, March 2012, organized by the Sinhagad Institute of Business Administration and Research.

    Reply ForwardClick here to Reply or Forward

  • Bonventre88

    As evidenced by her recent Rockefeller Foundation Accolade (Rockefellers dubious Asian Society propaganda award), April is an integral member & contributor to the promotion of garbage peddled by the US Council on Foreign Relations!  

  • Bud Smith

    The article is interesting and odd.

    You get the sense that the author has never interacted with Indian culture. She uses examples that seem odd to a typical Fast Company reader, yet seem very typical. This is poor journalism.

  • Gump

    What is Indian culture exactly? Is it to not have a clue about why you failed? Is it to lie and say you aren't the person you are? Is it the part where you run away for a dinner appointment when things get uncomfortable? Or is it the part where you don't think having the previous prototype might be useful when you want to do better?

    Please educate us on this elusive culture.

  • Rashmi Malapur

    There is lot to discover here in India. Lot of our talent teaches in US and UK universities. We have contributed considerably to global companies and economy.

    People create the culture. April I deeply respect your opinion of Indian culture. There is a lot of hypocrasy in each society and in India it is prominent and evident.

    But, you cannot be judmental on the basis of few examples. Your observations are true. I wish you try to read and understand the essence of Indian culture. India has its challneges but, please turn your attention to some contributions that we have made.

  • Yipe!

    Wow! A very well
    researched article. In fact after the Aakash tablet announcement, I believed
    that they were already on the market. I don’t know much about “India's
    managerial and technical shortcomings”, but do agree that mixing politics and
    innovation, tends to wind up in failure and egg on the face.


    In Kenya during the
    ‘80s we developed a car that was heavily promoted by the President. In fact the
    launch was a huge affair costing huge taxpayer money. This car supposedly was
    meant to increase the number of people that could afford these cheaper cars. Not
    one of those cars hit the road!


    Its sad really where
    the politicians want to be in the limelight when announcing good news, but
    don’t want to man/woman up when there’s nothing to show for all the excitement.
    Back in Kenya’s dictatorial 80’s if one questioned what happened to the ‘nyayo’
    cars who knew what would happen. I just hope that in India the worlds largest
    democracy that people demand accountability for a product that will bridge the
    digital divide.

  • Karma

    In short, it's all about the money, not product. In fact, Aakash is obviously seen as unusable device rather than anything good. It doesn't matter Aakash is dead or alive, main is corruption comes first. Who cares for it anyway? Nobody cares except for the money involved in this project by the thick faced crooks. Maybe this could be a good opportunity for Sibal to do some con job while on post by any brainless means, or some other reasons which won't bring good neither. So nothing could stop him from showing his own ugly and stupid self anyway,. End the end, what comes around goes around for this useless Sibal. Sooner or later, God will fix him soon through karma. Lets see howit goes. God bless.

  • Suman S

    Excellent article. This would be funny if it wasn't so sad for India. I for one had wished that the Aakash would be a success, but guess we have to wait a bit longer to see what finally comes out of the Aakash.

    Would also have been great to learn about the problems that happened with the Aakash project so we could learn in the future, but given the current state of litigation and the fact that no one's talking or sharing specs, I guess this will remain a mystery.

  • Yaro oruvan

    Quoting people or numbers will not make anyone a skilled designer or builder. India has a lousy track record in product development, unfortunately (not Indians, who seem to do well outside India) in high tech. Always go for the low-handing fruit. 

    First, please acknowledge that Kapil Sipal, despite his Harvard degree (which even Rahul G claims to have), is a MORON. His body language, attitude, and  words are not that of an intelligent leader/visionary but that of a third-rate power-hungry politician of limited intelligence, playing to the masses and licking his superiors' feet. 

    Second, India as a whole should learn to speak less and DO MORE. Every now and then you hear this lofty announcements from Indian agencies about 'supercomputer capable fo calculating everything to be built in India'  India plans 1 paisa tablet.. India plans moon base in 2012.. Guess what guys you can plan anything and everything but if you don't deliver, you simply become a laughingstock.. maybe what these people are counting on is that after a few years everyone will forget about it and anyway no one expects India to deliver anything anyway.. Seriously, is that where you want to be?

    Look at china - they do, and then if needed they talk about it. be it the biggest dam, bridge or space, people know only after they have accomplished.
    If Kapil Sipal wanted to be serious about this, that moron would have completely ceded control of this to some well-known industrial house like Reliance or Tata or such. They will know better than IITs to actually design a product and bring it to market. Expecting an IIT prof (do you know how academic some of them are? Esp one  with a PhD from IIT mumbai means he has never had the chance to see any part of the world outside that little place. expecting his to manage global sourcing is like expecting your household help/kaamwaali bai to run NASA) to actually manage an industrial undertaking or even anything beyond academic R&D is  pointless. They are simply, simply not set up to do that.
    There was some talk about aakash circuity being designed by an IIT undergrad student. Seriously, are you guys such morons  to believe that an undergrad student, no matter how talented, is capable of single-handedly designing the circuitry of a tablet? In real world, these are done by experienced teams of engineers. Just PR and morons lapped it all up. 

    then they give the contract to a cheapo Canadian company run by two chaltahai desis, and  expect miracles. That action alone speaks volumes of the professors inexperience.

    You want something to happen? Give it to tata, or Reliance. No not to infosys ro such bodyshop superpowers - they can only do outsourced work and not product  forget hardware. Otherwise, if there's a real need for it since the $35 pricetag is only a result of subsidy, just buy a cheap tablet from an chinese maker, and subsidize. just do not call it the cheap tablet any more.

    Better still invest this money in getting more maintainable  desktop computers for  schools. also better teaching materials and curriculum. You want to develop more productive students? you might be surprised  at what you can achieve without all these lofty PR stuff.

  • Satya Gunampalli

    Well done....My exact thoughts, you have put in with right words like MORON :-)

  • Gups

    This is one of the most crisp, direct and truthful descriptions of why the Aakash was such an abysmal failure. The ambitious and empty promise-holding politician, the naive and inexperienced professor, the lying and duplicitous India-Inc hype machine, the inexperience to tell when something is too cheap to be useful, the habitual instinct to reach for jugaad over any intrinsic design goals, and the inability to know when to fold the hand you are dealt - it's the classic, repeating mantra that gets chanted a million times every day.

    India needs to Plan and get shit done. Talk is cheap.

  • Yahsi

    Wow, I have a hardware design project ongoing right now.  Same symptoms thus far.   Project cost and timeline have doubled, all while we reduce features.

  • Shikha Chaudhry


    Mr. Author, you really look like a sadist to me. While your argument may have some merit, but your biased thought process against Indians is completely uncalled for!

    Anyway, we would do what we know best to do - "Forgive and move on".

  • kachori

    Like most Indians you are attacking the author - the famous foreign hand argument our govt uses every time someone points that the king has no clothes. Focus on the facts. The author has called a spade a spade. We announced Aakash 5 years ago and beat our chest that we are the best and don't even have one tablet in the market. Our IT set up is so pathetic that the entire Indian govt. including the PM/President uses hotmail accounts for official purposes. Let us focus on improving ourselves and be thankful that unlike our sycophantic Indian media some one will make us wake up and smell the coffee!

  • Shikha Chaudhry

    As I said, I agree with what the author says. But, there is a way to express one's opinions. While there is no denying the fact that we could not deliver in the stipulated time, but disrespecting each one of us (including the IIT professors) is totally uncalled for. One can be specific and not generic. We may have moron politicians but making fun of the whole nation is something which only a myopic journalist can do!

  • Shiksha Sahayak

    I think when the Education Minister of India lies, misleads and does so repeatedly and when the gullible Indians believe him and the rest of the world stands in dismay, some thinking India possibly cannot lie so much, then someone has to speak up. Everyone should thank the writer to have the courage and not be poodles like the New York Times reporters from Delhi, in particular the Timid Heather Timmons and Unthinking Pamposh raina.

    Aakash was name given at the last moment because Sibal showed what he called Sakshaat. That could not be delivered in the price he promised. So the vendor tried doing what he thought could be done in the money the Government could agree to pay. The specifications were so diluted that the name had to be changed.

    But the journey began in the name of Simputer in 200. It became mobilis in 2006. And the same year it was named Sakashat by MHRD. Aakash was a weaker version of the same story. So in fact India took not just 5 years, it took 11 years to produce a dysfunctional, pirated, junk that diminished India's not so graet an image further.

  • Shikha Chaudhry

    And, just for your information, Akash was NOT announced five years ago. Please get your facts corrected.