PM Modi discusses his initiatives with social media giants

California, Sept. 28 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his visit to the Facebook headquarters at Menlo Park, requested the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg to see how social media could be used for giving greater coverage to the government’s social programmes such as the ‘Swacch Bharat’.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that the meeting between Prime Minister Modi and the Facebook CEO was an important opportunity for Zuckerberg to show what Facebook is doing and what it is capable of doing.

The MEA spokesperson further said this was their second meeting as Zuckerberg had met the Prime Minister during his visit to India last year.

Talking about the Prime Minister’s visit to Google headquarters at Mountain View here, Swarup said that the former was shown three to four of Google’s best technologies for which it is known all over the world.

“The first was Google Earth. They showed us the technical backbone of Google Earth. What is the kind of equipment people carry to map the earth? The Prime Minister in fact tested it out. He said, ‘Show me Khagol,” which is a place in Bihar where Aryabhatta apparently started out astronomy. And Google Earth was able to pin point that. That was interesting,” said Swarup.

“They showed the Iris Project, which is important for measuring glucose levels. Google translate was the next, which again has extremely significant ramifications,” he added.

He also mentioned that over time interpreters may get out of business because Google translate is now going to interpret real time speech.

“Google is also developing algorithms that mirror human speech, which would make the minor glitches one faces in translations a thing of the past,” he added.

The MEA spokesperson further said that Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt was very excited about the Prime Minister’s ‘Digital India’ initiative.

“And in fact, he said that when a billion people have access to internet, their life transforms. And from that point of view, he felt that the Prime Minister’s initiatives to bring ‘Digital India’ to every corner of the country was a very significant initiative,” said Swarup.

Swarup further said that Google explained some of their new innovations related with knowledge panels.

“It will be in form of app through which you can just pull out any information that you need and specifically health information. It will be available in all local Indian languages. It is for mobile platform,” he said.

The MEA spokesperson further said another project that was demonstrated for the Prime Minister was ‘Project Loon’.

“It is Google’s flagship to bring internet access to areas that have no internet signals at all,” he said.

“But you know we don’t need it for whole of India. We need it only for areas where we do not have internet connectivity. They said that in terms of the cost of putting a fibre optic cable, this is still much much cheaper than that. The Prime Minister showed keen interest in that,” he added.

Swarup also informed that Google had a pilot project in Andhra Pradesh.

“The idea was to target rural areas which still do not have internet penetration. So, the Prime Minister felt that this could be a very significant innovation to help with rural connectivity. The Google people said that their research tells them that 160 million can be lifted out of poverty if given internet access,” he added. (ANI)

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