Sachin Karol links to this Time Asia report about the Simputer. A snippet from the article: "It's not a PC, but rather a microcomputer, a "Simple Inexpensive Mobile Computer." In short, a Simputer. It's the latest attempt to reach a kind of techno-humanist grail: a computer priced and designed for the billions of people who have yet to set foot in the wired wards of the Global Village. A computer, say its creators, for the masses." (Read more.)
A week ago, the prototype Simputer was successfully demonstrated at Bangalore's National Institute of Advanced Science. Here are some pictures from an earlier demonstration of Simputer prototypes; there is a section on the Simputer site which is supposed to show details about the architecture, but which promises more information by September of last year; there is information about the guts of the machine in the FAQ, though.
Sounds like a potentially useful tool, but how much impact do you think such a computer could have on the other problems faced by rural Indians? How much of the balance can be swung by such a device?