Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is planning to visit Silicon Valley this weekend, where he will meet with Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Pichai was born in India, as was Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, with whom the prime minster will also meet.
It’s an opportunity for good PR for both Silicon Valley and the Indian prime minister, but it’s also a chance for the leaders involved to share their ideas. Modi has been lauded for his government’s efforts in their Digital India initiative, which has sought to improve the technological sophistication of the country, in part by expanding internet coverage. A major part of that has been the Aadhaar program, a biometric registry of citizens connected to national ID cards that has helped to digitize the administration of government services, cut down on corruption, and even to track government employee attendance.
Meanwhile, Google’s status as a tech giant is well known around the world, and the company’s relatively progressive attitude towards technological empowerment, recently exemplified by its efforts to spread the reach of the internet via giant balloons, would seem to be appealing to India’s leaders and citizens alike. In a new video clip expressing his company’s excitement over Modi’s visit, Pichai asserts, “The bond between India and Silicon Valley is strong,” later adding that “there is no more important role for tech companies today than helping to connect the next billion Internet users.”
Source: The Wall Street Journal