Google CEO Sundar Pichai meets PM Narendra Modi

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Dec 17, 2015 20:31 IST
The news of the meeting came out as the Press Information Bureau shared a picture of the meeting on the microblogging website Twitter (Press Information Bureau via Twitter)

After jolting Google’s Project Loon out of the regulatory rut and enthralling 1,800 students Sundar Pichai, the Google CEO on Thursday evening met Prime minister Narendra Modi.

The news of the meeting came out as the Press Information Bureau shared a picture of the meeting on the microblogging website Twitter.

The chief executive picked up the notes from his last meeting with the Prime Minister which took place in Silicon Valley. In September, the Prime Minister was on a two-day visit to the Valley to meet CEOs of all major companies.

However, Indians and the Prime Minister was overjoyed when Pichai ascended to the throne of Google. He tweeted and congratulated Pichai and the next day’s newspapers carried a picture of the CEO with headlines singing his praise.

Similarly, the Google CEO sent out a YouTube video message welcoming the Prime Minister to Silicon Valley. In the video, Pichai also said that Google was more than excited to participate in India’s growth story.

After the meeting, there has been a rise in engagement levels of the company with the Indian government as it announced that it will collaborate with the Indian Railways to provide wi-fi services at 500 stations by next year. Pichai had also announced that Google will enable users to type in 11 Indian languages, including Modi’s mother tongue Gujarati on the Android platform.

Pichai who is on a two-day visit to India is also scheduled to meet President Pranab Mukherjee. On the first day, he met Telecommunications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad followed by Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday morning. He then enthralled 1,800 students at SRCC.

The CEO met Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday morning (PTI)

Ravi Shankar Prasad after meeting the CEO had said:”In-principle we agree for a pilot project for Project Loon. We are quite open on the project and BSNL will partner with Google for it.”

Prasad also said his department would consult the ministry of civil aviation and other security agencies for clearance of the project and issues surrounding it.

On December 11, the telecommunications minister had told Parliament that the Centre was apprehensive about Project Loon interfering with cellular transmission and create technical glitches – a charge rejected by the technology giant.

“The proposed frequency band in Google’s Loon Project is being used for cellular operations and it will lead to interference with cellular transmissions,” Prasad had said.

Pichai, before meeting the telecom minister, had also said that the company had “tonnes of data” from its Loon tests in Sri Lanka and Indonesia to demonstrate there was no such interference and would be sharing it with the government (PTI)

At SRCC, Pichai also revealed that he loves cricket and also talked about his company’s vision and practices. While interacting with students, he said that his company was continuously reinventing itself to stay on top of the game.

“In the tech world, everything changes at a fast pace. You have to reinvent yourself. India is an amazing, vast country and in trends of future will come from India,” Pichai said while having a conversation with cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle at SRCC.

The Google CEO, who is on a two-day India visit, was interacting with Harsha Bhogle at a students meet in SRCC college (PTI)

The CEO said that the company was focussed on innovation and was always looking at building products for the future.

“Constantly thinking about what to do next, Android is here and doing good and we always think on what next. We think about virtual reality, constantly thinking about pushing forward. We have always had an ambitious mission. We want to do even better job. Do much better with Artificial Intelligence and machines,” he said.

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