New Delhi: Days after the big bang launch of the Aakash Tablet by the government, Union Human Resources Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal on Sunday said that ‘next generation Aakash’ tablets will be given free of cost to the students.

Currently the government has offered the tablet for Rs 1,500 and soon it would extend 50 percent subsidy whereas the school will bear the remaining cost to distribute the tablets for free.

Sibal said, “In the next five years, the government aims to provide free and compulsory primary education to millions of children.”

“Schools will be open in all rehabilitated colonies and slums,” Sibal added.

The Union Minister was speaking at an inaugural function of a Railway under-bridge at Sri Nagar Railway Road in Shakarpur. The bridge was inaugurated by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

Sibal further asserted, “Government has developed a National Knowledge Network (NKN) to link all schools and universities across the nation. NKN will be linked to Edusat – the education satellite launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation – and foreign research labs. NKN will bring people and experts on a single platform to discuss the problems.”

He also opined that the government had also approved a scheme for creation of a National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) for providing Broadband connectivity to Panchayats.

While addressing the gathering, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said, “The main aim is to address the problems by dividing the Municipal Corporation in three parts. This will bring transparency. We have taken effective measures to provide safe drinking water to you. We will also provide you Metro and Monorail services in your vicinity.”

“Our government will also construct 1.5 lakh houses for financially weak families,” Dikshit promised.