Google investing $10 billion in India’s digitisation fund: Pichai tells Modi

 

WASHINGTON

Internet giant Google is investing $10 billion in India’s digitisation fund, its CEO Sundar Pichai has told Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a step that will recognise India’s leadership on fintech and will support small and large businesses in India, the US and around the world. Pichai met Prime Minister Modi here on Friday and also announced the opening of Google’s global fintech operation centre in the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) in Gandhinagar.

 

“It was an honour to meet Prime Minister Modi during the historic visit to the US. We shared with the Prime Minister that Google is investing $10 billion in India’s digitisation fund,” Pichai said.

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Pichai and Modi have shared a rapport ever since the IIT-Kharagpur graduate took the reins at Google, with the pair meeting once before in New Delhi, last year. During that visit, Mr. Pichai said he looked forward to continuing strong partnerships and supporting India’s G20 presidency to advance open internet that works for all.

 

The Alphabet boss added that he was looking forward to the progress India will make with the additional $10 billion, adding a few ideas of his own.

 

“That includes our efforts to build a single, unified AI model that will be capable of handling over 100 Indian languages across speech and text – part of our global effort to bring the world’s 1,000 most-spoken languages online and to help people access knowledge and information in their preferred language. We’re also supporting a new, multidisciplinary centre for responsible AI with IIT Madras,” he said.

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Prime Minister Modi also met Amazon CEO Andrew Jassy and Boeing’s David L Calhoun in Washington, on the third and final day of his visit. He left the States for Egypt at the end of the day, concluding a groundbreaking trip.

 

“The most important takeaway is the PM’s passion for India’s development. He does have a specific interest in aviation, in aerospace. It is a big vision,” Boeing’s CEO Calhoun told ANI in an interview. He emphasized the importance of India playing a significant role not only for the country but also for the broader region broadly in aviation and aerospace.

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Amazon CEO Jassy expressed his commitment to generating additional employment opportunities in India after his meeting with Modi. “[We’re] very interested in helping create more jobs, helping digitise more small and medium size businesses and helping more Indian companies and products be able to be exported all around the world,” said Jassy.