SAN JOSE: There is a hunger in India to have more information and being able to connect, Google CEO Sunder Pichai has said as he promised to deliver high-speed internet at 500 railway stations in the country.
Google will collaborate with Indian Railways to provide wi-fi services at 500 stations by next year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced.
The hunger for technology was reflected when Google launched Chrome browser some time back and India was the first country to adopt it in major way, he said yesterday. "There is a hunger in India to have more information and being able to connect. So that is one of the most important things we are working on at Google, how do you bring the web to more people?," India-born Pichai said at an event at the Google in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"This is why next month we are going to take Android and make it possible for you to type in Android in 11 more languages, including the Prime Minister's mother-tongue of Gujarati," 43-year-old alumnus of IIT-Kharagpur said.
"This is why we are all so excited to bring connectivity to India in more places and do that our access and energy team has partnered with Indian railways... to bring connectivity to India in railway stations," he added.
"In most places when you say Indian railways in India it is the most impressive thing I have seen in my life," he said noting that there are 7,500 stations and the total track length is 3.5 times the distance to the moon and back. 25 million people ride it every day.
"I remember taking the Coromandel Express every six months... to IIT Kharagpur and back. So we are very excited that we are starting with 100 of the busiest stations. 10 million passengers go through them every day and we hope to expand and we hope to expand it to 400 stations by the end of next year," Pichai said.
"We are talking about high-definition [wi-fi], video streaming being possible on these connections, so this is very, very high speed Internet," he said. Modi assured the participants of hackathons his government would like to understand and incorporate whatever they have found and ameliorate the lives of the common man in India.
"It will be our full effort to do this. I can see very clearly the benefits of this kind of technology, through the Narendra Modi app. I am connected with so many people, I get a feedback all the time. I feel that this is the new power of democracy," Modi added.