Google will help India provide free WiFi at 500 Indian railway stations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said at the Digital India dinner with top CEOs at Silicon Valley.
Google’s India-born Chief Sundar Pichai, who was among some 350 CEOs present at the dinner, said the prime minister would make the announcement while touring the offices of the internet giant in a few hours.
“Google is proud of what’s happening in India. We want to play a part in digital India,” said Mr Pichai, not revealing much more about the connectivity project.
Describing India as the “fastest growing startup nation in the world,” he said he felt very excited about India’s digital transformation.
“He(PM Modi) has accelerated India’s efforts to become the hotbed of innovation. More importantly, he knows that technology is the enabler that drives massive change, the kind that India needs,” Mr Pichai said, directing his remarks at the prime minister on the stage.
Mr Pichai, who was named Google’s chief in August, recalled that growing up in India, “we were lucky to get a phone in my family.” At the time, it was a big event in the neighbourhood, he shared.
With more than 300 million smartphone users today, he said, India was the fast growing country for internet users.
“It’s not about being online…it’s what you do when you get online. People are educating themselves, connecting with loved ones, creating and sharing videos.”