India to be Google’s testing ground

  • HT Correspondent
  • Updated: Dec 17, 2015 11:57 IST

New Delhi: Real-time cricket scores and videos, an expansive new campus in Hyderabad and ramping up of recruitment – Google is taking massive strides in India.

Delivering the keynote address at an event in the Capital, “Google for India”, the company’s Chennai-born CEO, Sundar Pichai also unveiled two new projects to boost its penetration in the hinterland: Project Loon, and Tap to Translate.

Project Loon, a network of high-altitude, internet-beaming balloons that will help connect towns and villages with no access to cables or optic-fibre grid, has been in security-related controversy, but the company is hopeful it will take off. Tap to Translate provides real-time translation into almost a dozen Indian languages as you type, and works across all applications on Android devices. Clearly, India is big for Google.

“We run two separate initiatives in India to get more people online. We have a programme named ‘internet Sathi’ where we partner with Intel and Tata Trust to help women with bicycles who in turn go and educate other women in many villages. This project is running as a pilot in 1,000 villages in three states,” Pichai said.

The Mountain View-based company runs also runs another initiative which helps more women get online — Helping Women Get Online. “The pilot project is now going national where we are aiming to get women online in 300,000 villages in three years which is half of Indian villages,” he said.

The tech giant is also working to make search easier by incorporating multiple Indian languages in its voice recognition software, making it work for slower networks typically found in India and tailoring search for local interests like cricket and Bollywood.

also read

Gloves off as Cyrus Mistry slams Ratan Tata in email, Sebi wades in
Show comments