CASTLE - the new tool in education On the 16th of June 2004, the West Bengal University of Technology or UTech (www.wbut.net) in partnership with the West Bengal Madrassa Board, unveiled CASTLE - a new tool in classroom education. CASTLE is an acronym for Computer Aided Studying, Teaching and Learning Environment. In this maiden venture of the Technology Incubation Initiative of UTech, the projects aims at providing a socially relevant interface to the education in West Bengal by providing a platform for studies and learning environment to the students of Madrassa. "The project incorporates the Madrassa Board published courses as subject materials and hopes that this tool in the hands of the teachers can provide the students with a better opportunity for understanding and create an engaging learning environment", said Prof A R Thakur, Pro VC, UTech. CASTLE is a service offering based on the paradigm of Localised Low Cost Computing or L2C2 (www.l2c2.org) developed by Indranil Das Gupta, Sankarshan Mukhopadhyay and Sayamindu Dasgupta. Utilising and extending the localization effort of the Ankur Bangla Project (www.bengalinux.org), L2C2 offers a means to create an education content delivery platform using completely Free/Open Source Technologies. This is important in view of the fact that UTech under the current Pro-VC Prof Ashoke Ranjan Thakur has an in-place policy of using Free/Open Source Software and related tools at all domains of implementation. The West Bengal Madrassa Board is providing the educational content in digitized format which will then be made available through the CASTLE program to all the madrassas in the state. In the first phase of the project, 5 madrassas for girls have been identified as the pilot bench, with the projected aim of implementation in 500 madrassas across West Bengal. The value addition in CASTLE is the availability of multimedia enriched content at each individual terminal. With the emphasis being on providing engaging content at an affordable cost bench, the project extends the concepts of 'Thin Clients' and integrates it with localized computing. The GNU/Linux OS being used for the project is the Red Hat (www.redhat.com) sponsored community project distribution Fedora (http://fedora.redhat.com) Core 2. The OS has been substantially modified as per the requirements for the education sector. The CASTLE system consists of a setup consisting of 20 terminals and 1 server. The total cost of such a system with additional peripherals like UPS, printer comes around to INR 300000. CASTLE provides a completely reproducible and modular setup which can be adapted and adopted to include various Indic Languages which are supported on the GNU/Linux platform by standard out-of-the-box Operating System Distributions.