India’s Prime Minister will be making a trip later this month to Silicon Valley with plans to meet with the tech giant Facebook as well as tour Google and Tesla headquarters.
The event, scheduled to occur on September 27th, will be an important visit for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He will be meeting with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg in a town hall-style Q&A to, in Zuckerberg’s words, “discuss how communities can work together to address social and economic challenges.”
This marks a monumental moment for US-India tech relations, as India has the second largest population of Facebook users after the U.S. with roughly 125 million registered users. 80% of those users use their mobile device or smartphone as their primary way of accessing Facebook.
This California meeting is especially relevant because of Facebook’s continuing efforts through its Internet.org project to bring free internet to developing countries in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
Internet.org launched seven months ago in India with a goal to bring the internet to over a billion unconnected people in the country. People can access free internet to certain sites via an app on their smartphone devices or by going to certain websites in their web browser. The 33 free partner websites include everything from Wikipedia to BBC news to Malaria No More, a website dedicated to informing people about the dangers of malaria and how to be treated for it. Users can also check the weather or even their horoscopes.
Zuckerberg’s social entrepreneurship efforts certainly have not gone unnoticed. This visit by India’s prime minister will definitely be an event watched by corporations and customers alike.
Zuckerberg, in a post to his personal Facebook page early yesterday, requested that people with questions for himself or the Prime Minister leave them in the comments section of the post.
A live video of the Q&A will be streamed on Zuckerberg’s Facebook as well as on that of Prime Minister Modi.