tech

Sundar Pichai announces Google for India Digitization Fund worth 75,000 cr

Google for India 2020: Google has launched a new $10 billion fund for helping India get digital.

Google will focus on building products that are relevant to India's unique needs.
Google will focus on building products that are relevant to India's unique needs. (AP)

Google CEO Sundar Pichai at the company’s sixth edition of Google for India event announced a ‘Google for India Digitization Fund’. Through this initiative, the company will invest 75,000 crore, or approximately $10 billion in the country in the next five to seven years. 

The company will roll out the fund through equity investments (CapitalG.), partnerships, operational and infrastructure ecosystem investments.

The investments will focus on four key areas. This includes providing information to all Indians in their own language, whether it's Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil or any other.

Second, Google will focus on building products that are relevant to India's unique needs.

Third, it will help empowering businesses for their digital transformation. Fourth, Google will focus on leveraging technology and AI for social good. This includes sectors such as health, education, and agriculture.

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“There’s no question we are facing a difficult moment today, in India and around the world. The dual challenges to our health and to our economies have forced us to rethink how we work and how we live. But times of challenge can lead to incredible moments of innovation. Our goal is to ensure India not only benefits from the next wave of innovation, but leads it. Working together we can ensure that our best days are still ahead,” Pichai said in his keynote.

Apart from the fund, Pichai also talked about India’s fast adoption of digital tools for education, businesses, and payments. He said that about 26 million SMBs are available on Search and Maps.

On Google Pay, he said that India’s BHIM UPI has set the global standard on how to digitize payments, and it’s now helping the company build a global product.

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“Our AI-powered reading tutor app Bolo, now called Read Along, is another example of a technology built specifically for Indian users. Last year I visited with students in Mumbai who were using the app to learn to read on their own. It was amazing to see their excitement when they read a new word in Hindi for the first time. It received such positive reception, we’re rolling it out to the rest of the world—now children in 180 countries can learn to read in nine languages, with more to come,” he added.