India wants Google's help with its $1 trillion digital economy, the weather and its villages

Ravi Shankar Prasad, India's Information and Technology Minister, made multiple requests of Google during its annual event, Google for India 2019.Google
  • The Indian MInister for Information and Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, asked for Google's help to build India's $1 trillion digital economy.
  • He also warned the tech giant that it must keep the data of individual private, safe and secure during his Google for India 2019 address.
  • Prasad's other requests included more accurate weather forecasting, model ‘Digi Gaons', and more solutions for primary education.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Indian Minister for Information and Technology, said, "Google is no more a technological company," during the tech giant's annual event, Google for India 2019.

Prasad highlighted that Google has become so integrated into the daily way of life in India, that in urban cities and rural villages, people don't say, "Go for Google Search," but "Google karo (Google it)."

But, his tirade of compliments came with multiple requests.

Here's everything Prasad wants Google to do in India:

1. Google must fend against abusers

"Google has become a folklore platform integral to the digital narrative of the world. That's how I see Google," Prasad proclaimed.

Since it plays a major role in the Indian ecosystem, Prasad emphasised that Google must safeguard the privacy rights of the individual.

"You must take extra efforts that people don't abuse the system. There are abusers," stated Prasad.

2. Tell me if it's rain or shine

Prasad second request for Google was to make weather forecasting more efficient. He said that currently, weather prediction is limited at an all India or state level.

"Create a tech product where you can predict, with certainty, there will be heavy rain in this particular area of a district or this cluster of villages," Prasad told Google.

"That concrete segregated prediction of weather is now the need of the hour," he stated.

3. Impetus on primary education

Google has a lot of products that focus on skilling in India and pushing education. Bolo, for instance, is a speed-assisted reading app. But, Prasad wants Google to focus a little more on the India's younger generation.

"Can you develop technology further to give larger access to primary education in India, particularly rural India?" asked Prasad during the event.

He did not provide any details of what kind of solution he was looking for, but left it for Google to figure out.

4. Build a model village

India is currently on a mission to building 100,000 digital villages across the country. The project was announced in June, earlier this year, and has a budget of ₹15,000 crore.

The plan for ‘Digi Gaons' or digital villages is to have digital bankers, doctors and teachers. The entire village have internet and WIFI access through the government's BharatNet service.

Prasad doesn't expect Google to take on all 100,000 villages, but did propose that Google should select a few to build model villages that can serve as a map to develop others.

"May I suggest Google pick a few and establish them as good models of technology?" asked Prasad.

5. Help India build a $1 trillion digital economy

The Indian government is ambitious about meeting its $5 trillion benchmark for the economy in the next five year. And, Prasad is asking Google for help.

He wants Google to play a crucial role in making India's digital economy worth $1 trillion.

From machine learning (ML) to internet of things (IoT) and from connectivity to manufacturing, Prasad believes that Google has an important role to play in pushing Make in India forward in the digital sector.

See also:
Google is adapting its technology for India and its many languages

Google Pay for Business and Google Spot launched to digitise small business owners

Data starved Indians in remote areas can now call the Google Assistant hotline


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