Google to invest Rs. 75,000cr to boost India's digital economy
Google hosted its sixth 'Google for India' event on July 13 and reiterated its vision to drive the digital transformation of the country and help with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. For this, CEO Sundar Pichai, along with other executives at the company, announced a series of initiatives to solve the challenges Indians face right now. Let's take a look at them.
During the keynote, Pichai announced the Google for India Digitization Fund with an investment of Rs. 75,000 crore. He said this amount will be invested by the company over 5-7 years to focus on affordable access to information in every Indian language, build new products/services for consumers, empower businesses, and leverage tech and AI for social good in the areas of health, education, agriculture.
"This investment is a reflection of confidence in the future of India and its digital economy," said Google India head Sanjay Gupta. "Our goal is to realize the mission of making the internet helpful for 1.3 billion Indians, and help power the country's economic engine."
The school closures triggered by COVID-19 have affected over 320 million students across India. To tackle this challenge and create an ecosystem of digital learning, Google has pledged $1 million to Kaivalya Education Foundation, working with CSF and TheTeacherApp. Together, they will train more than 700,000 teachers so that they can provide home-based virtual education to vulnerable students from low-income communities in India.
Google also says that "where families don't have access to the internet or a smartphone, other channels including TV and radio will be used" by the foundation to reach out to the children.
Further, along with its own investment, the company has also partnered with the CBSE to train and upskill over 1 million teachers in over 22,000 schools across India to help them deliver blended learning to students by the end of 2020. This will combine the classroom approach with online learning using free tools like G-Suite For Education, Google Classroom, YouTube, and more.
Additionally, to help keep SMBs afloat during the current pandemic, Google is partnering with Prasar Bharati to launch an edutainment series to help businesses go digital. The series will focus on helping business owners adapt to the evolving challenges of COVID-19 with online tools, learn from other companies, and plan for the long-term future to grow while ensuring the safety of everyone.