Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has done his second state visit to the US in the past twelve months. This trip can be rightly considered as a “Promotional Trip” because Mr. Modi has tried to persuade tech giants of the US including Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook for investing both money and technology in his ambitious “Digital India” campaign.
Mr. Modi held a series of appearances and meetings with the leaders of America’s largest technology companies during a high-profile weekend tour of Silicon Valley. The trip is hailed as the first by an Indian Prime Minister in more than thirty years. Let us dig dip about how this trip can make the difference in the digitalization of the world’s largest democratic country- India.
Silicon Valley wholeheartedly welcomed the PM
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached the world’s tech capital-Silicon Valley, he was warmly welcomed by CEOs of tech giants like Microsoft, Google, Adobe, and the like. He met Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and visited Tesla Motors prior to take ‘Digital Dinner’ with Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, and other CEOs. He was enthusiastically welcomed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other citizens when he reached the Facebook Headquarter to attend an open town hall. He also visited Google HQ accompanied by Mr. Sundar Pichai, Google CEO of Indian origin.
Silicon Valley and Digital India
Mr. Modi has gone to the US with a mission to promote his ambitious ‘Digital India’ campaign. Wherever he went in Silicon Valley, and whenever he met the CEOs of tech companies, he urged all the tech firms to invest in India. He mentioned advantages of investing both money and technology in India, and sincerely tried to persuade the global tech leaders for both ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ campaigns.
On one hand, he tried to show the diversity and largeness of Indian market in terms of the ever-increasing number of smartphone users and on the other hand, he successfully showed his government’s keenness and committed approach to facilitate tech giants for making their business more fruitful in India.
Mr. Modi has indicated the objectives of ‘Digital India’ campaign by saying that we want to use the contemporary technology to attack on poverty and to give empowerment to citizens of India. He made a vow to make his nation digital, and asked for the support from tech giants of the US.
Silicon Valley reciprocated his attempts as tech giants showed willingness to take part aggressively and enthusiastically in ‘Digital India’ campaign. Top tech companies’ CEOs gave resounding response to Mr. Modi’s appeal through proclaiming their technological and other assistance. Here are some of the key announcements that mean a lot for making ‘Digital India’ campaign more effective and efficient:
- Google will set up base for free Wi-Fi at 500 railroad stations: It means that Indians can get free access to the Internet on all important railway stations. It will give a strong push to Digital India campaign.
- Microsoft will partner with GoI (Government of India) for low-cost broadband technology: It means that over 5 lakh Indian villages will get a low-cost broadband technology that will increase and improve the Internet access in rural and tribal areas.
- Qualcomm will invest $150 million in India: It means that the chipmaker Qualcomm is all set to push ‘Digital India’ initiative. The amount will be used for Indian start-ups in mobile and IoE (Internet of Everything) domain.
- Qualcomm will set an innovation lab in Bengaluru: It can be considered as Qualcomm’s support to “Make in India” concept. Indian mobile device design companies will get technical and engineering support through this laboratory.
In brief, it is fair to mention that Modi’s Silicon Valley visit has raised new hopes for boosting ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ campaigns. Improvement in Indians’ lives through these campaigns becomes more certain and clearer with PM’s Silicon Valley visit.