Google's Chief Internet Evangelist Vinton Cerf on Tuesday discussed with Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad the role the US-based tech giant can play in the government's Digital India programme. They also discussed ways to increase Internet penetration in the country.
"It is in a very early stage of discussion. Google is interested in being helpful. We have some ideas. We want to share with them (government) those ideas to find out which of them makes sense. May be, they will have better ideas than us," Cerf told reporters on the sidelines of an event organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).
It is very clear that the private sector is going to have to play a major role, but it won't work unless basic infrastructure that government proposes to bring in is out into place, he said.
According to sources, the discussions revolved around increasing Internet penetration in the country, helping small and medium businesses harness its potential and bringing more women online. The sources added that Google is also keen on playing a larger role in the government's Digital India initiative.
In August 2014, the government approved Digital India, an umbrella programme comprising various projects worth over Rs 1 lakh crore to transform the country into a digitally empowered knowledge economy. The programme includes projects that aim to ensure that government services are available to citizens electronically and people get benefit of the latest information and communication technology.
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