Hours before Google declared setting up a Rs 75,000 crore fund to help accelerate India's digital economy, the Prime Minister's Office shared details of Narendra Modi's conversation with Google CEO Sundar Pichai on a wide range of subjects, especially use of technology to further education, agriculture and "re-skilling" the country's workforce.
"I was delighted to know more about the efforts of @Google in several sectors, be it in education, learning, @_DigitalIndia, furthering digital payments and more," the Prime Minister tweeted.
"We discussed the challenges the global pandemic has brought to areas such as sports. We also talked about the importance of data security and cyber safety," the PM said sharing pictures of the virtual interaction where he discussed the use of AR/VR to give a stadium-like viewing experience for sports events.
The PM was also apprised about Google's efforts in forecasting floods.
This morning, had an extremely fruitful interaction with @sundarpichai. We spoke on a wide range of subjects, particularly leveraging the power of technology to transform the lives of India's farmers, youngsters and entrepreneurs. pic.twitter.com/IS9W24zZxs— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 13, 2020
The conversation assumes importance in the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic which has dismantled India's traditional work and learning culture, business systems and supply chains, forcing the government to skillfully adopt technology to safeguard its economy.
According to estimates by the International Monetary Fund, India's economy is set to contract by 4.5 per cent during the current fiscal year. Similar GDP estimates have also been given by the ADB and the World Bank.
"Indians are adjusting to and adopting technology at a rapid pace," the Prime Minister said, adding that India is among the most open economies in the world, and talked about technological solutions to expand the scope of online education, access to technology in native language and progress in the area of digital payments.
Mr Pichai appreciated the coronavirus lockdown which "created a very strong foundation of India's battle against the pandemic" and detailed Google's proactive role played in battling misinformation and conveying information about necessary Covid precautions. He also talked about further leveraging technology in providing healthcare services.