The Prime Minister’s pet project of Digital India, that was the theme of his visit to the Silicon Valley, has much more to do with the Internet than with social media. This is a persistent challenge, as India is widely seen as one of the more hard countries to conduct business in.
The newspaper described India as the new China for American internet companies.
“We are moved by the sight of one child trapped in a borewell on television, but due to water-borne diseases and those associated with uncleanliness, 1,000 children lose their lives every year in India”.
Needless to say, many tech companies want a piece of this growing pie; Modi’s liberal vision has already encouraged an increase in foreign direct investment from the U.S.by 87% in the last 15 months. This involved free access to Facebook and a selected clutch of other apps in healthcare, farming, English learning and so on.
He also had interactions with the top CEOs including Tim Cook of Apple, Satya Nadella of Microsoft and Google’s newly-appointed Indian-origin CEO Sundar Pichai.
Narendra Modi is perhaps the first Prime Minister of India who has sworn to give a fillip to the startup ecosystem. There isn’t a limitation of people in India with ideas and the talent to build successful start-ups, however there are serious concerns about the difficulties of doing business here. Then the perennial lack of infrastructure – from good roads to clean water – everything is a hassle. America is the most charitable nation on earth and our focus for increasing prosperity should be on helping people to fish and farm for a lifetime of financial independence.
American technology companies desperately want to win over people like Rakesh Padachuri and his family.
It’s a choice that all of us moms out there make. So was the tentative waving of hand at his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif.
This is Modi’s moment to choose what Digital India means. He will go green but the Americans must help with technology and finance.
“A lot has changed in 25 years since I last came”.
“The US-India relationship is clearly on the rebound”. India’s always been an exporter or talented tech companies… Yes, the pace of reforms is slow but incremental gains can not be discounted despite the hostility of the Opposition.
As part of its 2020 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the 193 member nations of the U.N. have set out 17 goals that are, as cited by Reuters, a “to-do list for people and planet”. They announced several new initiatives, including joint training of peacekeeping forces in Africa and a regular foreign secretary-level dialogue. Building on the former and narrowing the latter will take time and effort. He also used the summit to raise India’s claim for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council.
Bilaterally, the USA has complaints about our trade, investment and policies on intellectual property rights. This time it is a different G-4 because at least three of the four leaders have strong mandates and loom large on the world stage. The invitation for Modi’s meeting was infectious. Nepal’s prime minister was not attending given the situation at home.
And that only touches on Facebook’s ambitions in India. Even bro Obama is not fully behind it. This continued in the West Coast and the cheers he received from the diaspora at the San Jose meeting showed his popularity there.
Most Indian men become mushy when asked about their mothers; the PM is no exception. Qualcomm, by the way, is one of the six partners of Facebook in its Internet.org venture. They erupted in chants, taking away from the seriousness of Modi’s speech.
Modi went on to speak about his impoverished childhood, and how his mom struggled to make ends meet. The chanting was wholly inappropriate and tacky. In any case, these are not issues that Modi is not aware of.