Google to invest $10B in 'digital India'

Tech giant 's announcement to invest $10 billion in in the next five to seven years is being hailed as positive, with an expert saying it indicates the country's economy will improve in the post-pandemic era.

"Today at 'Google for India' we announced a new $10B digitization fund to help accelerate India's digital economy. We're proud to support PM Narendra Modi's vision for ," said Google CEO Sundar Pichai, an Indian-American.

Addressing the sixth Google for India event via video conference, Pichai said the Google for India Digitization Fund will focus on four key areas: enabling affordable access and information for every Indian in their own language, building new products and services relevant to India's unique needs, empowering local businesses, and leveraging technology for social good in areas like health, education and agriculture.

"This is credit positive for us... sends a message out there that India will bounce back soon after the coronavirus pandemic is over," Dr. N.R. Bhanumurthy, professor at the National Institute of Public Finance & Policy, told Anadolu Agency on Monday.

The coronavirus outbreak has changed the way we do business, hence, it is even more important to invest in digital technologies, he said.

India's ministers of IT, communications and humanitarian resource development were part of the event held online.

A "fruitful interaction" was also held between Pichai and India's premier Narendra Modi.

"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," Modi tweeted.

Pichai said their goal is to ensure "India not only benefits from the next wave of innovation, but leads it."

Besides Google, other US tech giants such as Facebook and Amazon have also made investments in India.

The announcement comes days after New Delhi banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, amid rising border tensions with Beijing.

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