Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with Google CEO Sundar Pichai via video conferencing earlier today. Mr Pichai briefed the Prime Minister about the efforts undertaken by Google to help spread awareness and provide reliable information about COVID-19. He said that the strong step of lockdown initiated by the Prime Minister set up a very strong foundation of India’s battle against the pandemic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi appreciated the proactive role played by Google in battling misinformation and conveying information about necessary precautions. He also talked about further leveraging technology in providing healthcare services.
He talked about farmers benefiting from technology and the possible wide-ranging benefits of AI in agriculture. PM Modi explored the idea of virtual labs that can be used by students as well as farmers. Sundar Pichai briefed the PM about new products and initiatives by Google in the country. He mentioned about the launch of AI Research Lab in Bengaluru, while also highlighting the benefits of Google’s flood forecasting efforts.
Prime Minister was briefed about Google’s plan to launch a large investment fund and develop strategic partnerships in India. Prime Minister remarked that India is among the most open economies in the world. He also spoke about recent steps taken by the government towards reforming agriculture and about the campaign to create new jobs, while also highlighting the importance of re-skilling.
PM Modi discussed the issue of data security and concerns around privacy. He said that tech companies need to put in efforts to bridge the trust deficit. He also talked about cyber crimes and threats in the form of cyber attacks. Other areas of discussion included technological solutions to expand the scope of online education,access to technology in native language, use of AR/VR to give a stadium-like viewing experience in the field of sports, and progress in the area of digital payments.
Later in the day, Google CEO Sundar Pichai addressed the sixth annual edition of Google for India through a virtual seminar. During his address, Mr Pichai announced that the tech giant will invest Rs 75,000 crore in India in the coming 5-7 years. “Today, I’m excited to announce the Google for India Digitization Fund. Through this effort, we will invest ₹75,000 crore, or approximately $10 billion, into India over the next 5-7 years. We’ll do this through a mix of equity investments, partnerships, and operational, infrastructure and ecosystem investments. This is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy,” Sundar Pichai said.
“As we make these investments, we look forward to working alongside Prime Minister Modi and the Indian government, as well as Indian businesses of all sizes to realize our shared vision for a Digital India.”
“There’s no question we are facing a difficult moment today, in India and around the world. The dual challenges to our health and to our economies have forced us to rethink how we work and how we live. But times of challenge can lead to incredible moments of innovation. Our goal is to ensure India not only benefits from the next wave of innovation, but leads it. Working together we can ensure that our best days are still ahead,” her added.