At Silicon Valley, PM Modi's Digital Dream Gets Many Shares, Likes

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San Jose:  Visiting Silicon Valley, the highlight of his second US visit in office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today met tech giants including Apple's Tim Cook, Microsoft's Satya Nadella and Google's Sundar Pichai, who came out in support of his digital India dream.

"If there was ever a gathering under one roof that could claim to be shaping the world, it is this," said PM Modi, sharing the stage with Valley giants at the "Digital India" dinner.

"Google today has made teachers less awe-inspiring and grandparents more idle. Twitter has turned everyone into a reporter... The status that now matters is not whether you are awake or asleep, but whether you are online or offline. The most fundamental debate for our youth is the choice between Android, iOS or Windows," joked the Prime Minister, drawing laughter from the gathering of tech geeks.

He made a strong pitch for digital India's potential to change lives.

"We are expanding WiFi in India at 500 railway stations with help of Google.  You can transform lives of those who live on margins of hope. Out of this was born the vision for digital India. It's a scale unmatched in human history - not just to touch lives of poorest but to change the way our nation will live and work", the PM said adding that mobile governance was the way to go "efficient, economical and effective".

Satya Nadella announced that Microsoft would use its cloud services in India to benefit the country in education while Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs announced Rs 10 billion for Indian startups.

Sundar Pichai, the Indian-born CEO of Google, said: "When I was a child in India, owning a telephone was a big deal. We are working on many connectivity projects including a major connectivity project with the Indian railways which we will announce when PM Modi comes to Google."

Mr Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the world renowned tech hub, will tour the headquarters of Facebook and Google in a few hours.

During his two-day visit, PM Modi hopes to attract investment and skills from US innovators.

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