“We will train over 1 million teachers across 22,000 schools by the end of 2020 to deliver blended education,” said Sapna Chadha, Senior Country Marketing Director, Southeast Asia and India, Google.
In addition, Google.org announced a $1 million grant to Kaivalya Education Foundation as part of the Distance Learning Fund. This would enable it, along with the Central Square Foundation and the TeacherApp, to train 700,000 teachers in India to deliver virtual education for students through TV and radio where smartphones are not available.
This is apart from the $10 billion fund announced by the search giant on Monday to speed up India’s digital economy.
The Google for India Digitization Fund, to be deployed over the next 5-7 years, will focus on areas important to India’s digitisation, including internet access in local languages, building new products and services in consumer technology, education, health, and agriculture.
It will also empower small and medium businesses on their digital transformation journeys and leverage artificial intelligence for social good.
“Building products for India first, has helped us build better products for users everywhere. But India’s own digital journey is far from complete. There’s still more work to do in order to make the internet affordable and useful for a billion Indians,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google and Alphabet Inc.
Over the last few months, Google India has put in place several new features to help provide information related to the Covid-19 pandemic. There have been over 2 billion searches related to Covid-19 in various languages. The company has also helped small and medium businesses gain better visibility online. It has made available details of over 11,000 food and night shelters on Google Maps and has tied up with ICMR and MyGov to make over 700 Covid-19 testing centres searchable in 300 cities.
“Today, we are recommitting ourselves to partner deeply and support India in becoming a truly digital nation by making the Internet helpful for a billion Indians and empowering India to become a leading digital economy,” said Sanjay Gupta, Country Head and Vice President, Google India.
Addressing the Google for India event, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon’ble Minister of Law & Justice, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India said that as India looked to transform the lives of Indians through technology, he was happy to see Google invest a fairly substantial amount in India’s digital transformation.
“There is immense scope for Google to deploy artificial intelligence and undertake new initiatives in the field of agriculture, weather prediction, healthcare in the wake of COVID-19 challenges and most importantly in digital education. Today, India’s app economy is growing very powerfully, but we must not just download apps. It is important also to upload apps from India. I am sure with this new fund, Google will also focus on promoting our startups further,” he said.
Google Pay Nearby Stores Spot, which was introduced in March has helped offline merchant discoverability and has been used by over two million users.
The company has added a Job Spot on Google Pay, which allows for remote work listings and remote job interviews, said Caesar Sengupta, GM & VP of Payments and Next Billion Users, Google. “We are investing in helping Indian businesses go digital and helping Indian workers learn, grow and find better jobs,” he said.
Google announced a new edutainment series on Doordarshan, in collaboration with Prasar Bharati on how small and medium businesses can adopt digital tools to adapt to the current situation.
Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Hon’ble Minister of Human Resource Development, Government of India said, “I welcome Google’s commitment to invest in India over the next 5 years and we look forward to Google’s work in transforming India into a global knowledge superpower, with a focus on science and research.