Behind developing apps for Akash Tablet | In conversation with Rabart Kurrey,...

Behind developing apps for Akash Tablet | In conversation with Rabart Kurrey, intern, IIT – B.


 As students we all dream to make it big and bring our ideas from paper to the real-world. Fortunately,I had the opportunity to do both.

I interned at the very prestigious and one of the best engineering institutes of the country – Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, where I got a chance to work with highly qualified individuals and under the most experienced professors of their Computer Science department. It is a Ministry of Human Resource Department of India (MHRD) funded Internship under the esteemed guidance of PadamShri Prof. Deepal Pathak, well known as the ‘Computer Guru’ in India who is in charge of the Aakash Tablet development Project currently. Aakash Tablet is a Government of India’s supported android based tablet computer initiative which aims at linking E-learning program to across 25,000 colleges and 400 universities.

This internship at IIT-B is known as ‘Ekalavya Summer Internship Program’ which was started in 2011. Ekalavya is a portal which aims at “free exchange of knowledge and ideas by placing all the relevant academic material in the Open Source, thus making considerable contribution to society.”

I came to know about this Internship about a year ago through one of my classmates and was eagerly waiting to be a part of it.  As a part of the process, every year Ekalavya selects a handful of students from the ones who apply for the internship and considers their project and ideas exclusively for the Aakash Tablet. Most of the applications used in Akash Tablets are developed by students selected for internship through the Ekalavya project. I had been waiting since a long time and was elated when the news of me getting selected for the most awaited project of my life reached me. The Internship was held at IIT B Campus and staying in the hostel for two months (May to July) was an unforgettable experience.

The major project that I handled during my course of  internship was ‘Clicker Native’ – an android application. There was already a web based application available for ‘Clicker’ earlier and our task was to develop an android version for it. My task was to handle the Client-Side. As a part of this, I had to manage data coming from server side to be displayed in a proper format on the Aakash tablet. The purpose of this application is that it can be used for launching ‘Instant Quizzes’ in classrooms and taking opinion polls from a huge audience. My job-role consisted mainly of  displaying a list of question coming from server onto the tablet in random order along with random options so as to minimise the chances of duplication of answers from the students during the quiz.

There was so much that I took back from this internship. I learnt things which my usual academic curriculum would lack and had an excellent opportunity to gain hands on experience. Operating Systems like Android, Java, JSP and ‘how to manage client-server applications’ were some of the things I specially gained in-depth knowledge in.

We were a group of 7 students belonging to various geographical backgrounds and colleges, possessing varying level of knowledge and skill-set. Spending two months with them has been a joy-ride to a point that I consider everyday I spent at IIT-B as a memorable one. We all took trips together to nearby must-visit-places like Lonavala and Matheran. Another interesting thing which every person living in Mumbai falls in love with are the local trains and I was no exception to these either. I met new people and made new friends with whom I am still in contact. Spending days at IIT and talking about it today makes me nostalgic about the whole experience where I had a chance to live the much talked about ‘Life @ IIT-B’. It is and will always stay special for me.

This internship has fetched me excellent placement opportunities as well. The highlight of every interview I sat through has been the work I did during the internship, where ‘Clicker’ always ends up being the show-stealer that never fails to impress the interview panel. One person I would like to thank is most certainly Pathak Sir, because of whom I have learnt and gained so much.

Rabart Kurrey, is an alumni of National Institute of Technology, Karnataka and currently works at Polaris Financial Technology, Chennai. He highly recommends this internship to all the Computer Science students.

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