Last year, the annual Google for India event — in its 6th edition — turned out to be a blockbuster one. Google went all bullish on India and announced Google for India Digitization Fund, through which it pledged to invest Rs 75,000 crore, or approximately $10 billion, into the country over 5-7 years.
So when the curtains on the 7th edition of the event are set to go up tomorrow, there is an inevitable air of expectation hovering over it.
Started in 2005, the annual event is a highly anticipated one as the tech giant unveils its plans and ideas for the country.
“Look at how far we’ve come, together. And this time, we’re back with more product updates, more technology innovations and a growing commitment to India’s digital journey,” said Google India said.
Google and India, the story so far
In the last five years, Google, which is betting big on India, has had many interesting partnerships and initiatives here. Of course, the biggest and most interesting one is its tie up with India’s biggest company Reliance for its JioPhone Next that was unveiled amidst much fanfare last week.
JioPhone Next is an affordable, first-of-its-kind smartphone based on an optimized version of Android called Pragati OS, customized to deliver a new smartphone experience to users in India.
India-born CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai said, “to build it (JioPhone Next), our teams had to work together to solve complex engineering and design challenges, and I’m excited to see how millions of people will use these devices to better their lives and communities.”
Aside from this, in the last few years, Google has added local language support for Lens, Translate, launched its payment platform Tez that is now popular as Google Pay. Google assistant has also been tweaked to understand local dialects for Indian users.
Last year, Google also announced a partnership with CBSE (Central Board of Secondary education) to enable 1 million teachers in 22,000 schools to deliver “blended learning,” a combination of online learning and a classroom approach. Additionally, Google also announced a new grant for $1 million (roughly Rs 7.51 crore) to train teachers in regard to virtual education.
Google has also reworked Google Maps to add more personalized and accurate information including transliterations in many local languages. Google also provides free Wi-Fi at over 400 plus Indian Railway Stations with over 7.5 million monthly users.
Google has extended support for 1 million rural women entrepreneurs in India. The tech company has also launched ‘News Showcase’ in India with 30 news outlets. It has also unveiled its second cloud region in India, which is highly crucial for Digital India drive.
When and where to follow the Google for India event?
The Google for India 2021 is likely to be no different and the expectation is that the tech major will announce a clutch of new plans. Google for India 2021 will unveil a roadmap on how Google is planning to take internet to everyone.
“In India, we want to bring the Internet to life for everyone. The more people have access to the tools, services, information and training online, the more they can pursue their ambitions and reach their potential. We want to help Indians connect to the Internet that serves their needs and helps them make a positive impact on their communities. We aim to achieve this with programs and products with Indian user at its core,” said Google.
As last year, the event will be virtual and will be live streamed and can be followed on YouTube tomorrow (November 18).
Indian Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Rajeev Chandrasekhar and Google’s Sanjay Gupta and Sapna Chadha, among others, are in the list of speakers for the event.