Nandini YadavJul 13, 2020 16:25:46 IST
At the sixth edition of Google for India, Alphabet and Google CEO announced new 'Google For India Digitisation Fund' in India.
Through this effort, Pichai revealed, Google will invest Rs 75,000 crore or $10 billion in India over the course of the next five to seven years.
Pichai says that the company will make this investment in India through a mix of equity investments, partnerships, and operational infrastructure in the ecosystem.
Expanding on the investment plan further, Pichai said that with the Google For India Digitisation Fund, investments will be done in four key ways:
- Enabling affordable access and information to every Indian in their own language
- Building new products and services that are deeply relevant to India's needs
- Empowering business as they continue to embark on their digital transformation
- Leveraging technology and AI for social good in areas like health, education, and agriculture
Today at #GoogleForIndia we announced a new $10B digitization fund to help accelerate India’s digital economy. We’re proud to support PM @narendramodi’s vision for Digital India - many thanks to Minister @rsprasad & Minister @DrRPNishank for joining us. https://t.co/H0EUFYSD1q
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) July 13, 2020
"This is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy," Pichai said during the 'Google for India' event webcast.
Pichai added that one of the "most exciting success stories" of Digital India has been the digitisation of small businesses. "Just four years ago, only one-third of all small businesses in India had an online presence. Today, 26 million SMBs are now discoverable on Search and Maps, driving connections with more than 150 million users every month. What’s more, small merchants across the country are now equipped to accept digital payments. This has made it possible for more small businesses to become part of the formal economy, and it improves their access to credit," he said.
He credits India's progress in getting a billion Indians online to "low-cost smartphones combined with affordable data, and a world-class telecom infrastructure".
Pichai said that since it first opened it's office in India in 2005, it has spread awareness of the Internet in rural villages through programs like Internet Saathi. He says Google helped over 30 million women across India gain digital skills to improve their lives and their communities.
"Building products for India first has helped us build better products for users everywhere," he added.
The event was also attended by Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications, Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice. "Google’s efforts to bring technology and thereby, knowledge and learning to students in every part of the country is commendable. The internet has emerged as a lifeline during the pandemic, which needs to be strengthened and we welcome Google’s initiatives like free access to learning resources, as well as their collaboration with CBSE to train 1 million teachers on tech-enabled education. I welcome Google’s commitment to invest in India over the next 5 years and we look forward to Google’s work in transforming India into a global knowledge superpower, with a focus on science and research," he said.
Google For India announcements
Besides the Google For India Digitisation Fund, Google, today, also announced an edutainment series for small and medium business in partnership with Prasar Bharti.
Google also announces a partnership with CBSE for skill education and training. By end of 2020, Google will enable 1 million teachers and 22,000 schools across India to "combine classroom approach with online learning" using free tools like G Suite, Google Classroom, Youtube, and more.
Additionally, Google.org also announced a new $1 million grant through its global distance learning fund. The grant will help teachers in India deliver virtual education for students to continue learning at home.
In a separate tweet posted a few minutes before the Google For India event kicked off, PM Narendra Modi revealed that he had a meeting with Sundar Pichai earlier today.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 13, 2020
He said that the two "discussed the challenges the global pandemic has brought to areas such as sports. We also talked about the importance of data security and cyber safety."
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