The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, visited the Facebook Headquarters in California. The Prime Minister and CEO, Facebook Mr. Mark Zuckerberg, participated in a townhall Q&A session.
During the event, The Prime Minister answered questions on a diverse range of issues. He explained why the world should be optimistic about India, and his dream of making India a 20 trillion dollar economy. The Prime Minister responded to Mr. Mark Zuckerberg’s statement that Steve Jobs had asked him to visit a temple in India, to reconnect with his vision. He said this was a unique link between science and spirituality. He said that over the last 15 months, the world had changed its attitude of looking at India.
In response to a question on whether social media and the internet could become a tool for governance and citizen engagement, he said social media had enabled the Government to get real-time feedback on its actions. He spoke of his engagement on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, and how he had tweeted greetings to the people of Israel, on the occasion of Hanukkah, in Hebrew, on Twitter, and how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had replied in Hindi. The Prime Minister said this was a new dimension in diplomacy.
In a voice that choked repeatedly with emotion, the Prime Minister spoke of his parents, especially his mother, and how she had struggled to bring up her children. He said that this story of struggle is not just of his mother alone, but many other mothers in India as well. He spoke of his commitment to involve women in the decision making process of governance.
Happy to have met the Zuckerberg family. Am sure the family is proud of what Mark created & nurtured over the years. pic.twitter.com/qzzhFakwXu— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 28, 2015
When I joined social media I never imagined I will be PM...it was about my curiosity towards technology: PM https://t.co/5wDZSO0UBf— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 27, 2015
We are bringing technology into governance in a very big way. This is making governance easy, effective, economical and transparent: PM— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 27, 2015
I don't think there is a shortage of money in the world. Countries may not know where to put their money so I am calling them to India: PM— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 27, 2015
I am reducing government. Apart from demography, democracy and demand, I believe in a 4th D, that of de-regulation: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 27, 2015
There are so many parents who have sacrificed their own lives to fulfil the dreams and aspirations of their children: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 27, 2015
The Prime Minister visited the Google Headquarters, where he was received by Mr. Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google. He was given an overview of some of Google’s innovations and future plans. Mr. Eric Schmidt and Mr. Larry Page were present. During a demonstration of Google Streetview, the Prime Minister asked for Khagaul to be pinpointed on Google Earth. Khagaul near Patna is where the great ancient astronomer Aryabhatta had an observatory.
PM asked that Khagaul be pinpointed on Google Earth. Khagaul near Patna is where the great ancient astronomer Aryabhatta had an observatory.— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 27, 2015
PM @narendramodi: We should encourage Hackathon culture in India so that the youth are inspired to find solutions to the country's problems— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) September 27, 2015
The Prime Minister addressed the Start-Up Konnect event, which was a platform for Indian Start-Ups to showcase their innovations.
He spoke of his vision for Start-Ups in India:
“The convergence of technology, integration across diverse fields, distributed architecture and people willing to back an idea, have opened a new world for enterprise. This ecosystem was born in the Silicon Valley. No community is shaping our world as much as the one on this Californian Coast. It isn’t just big names, but small firms that are fashioning every day new ways to enrich human life with the joy of artists and creators. That underlines America’s success and inspires the world. So, I see Startups, technology and innovation as exciting and effective instruments for India’s transformation, and for creating jobs for our youth. We are a nation of 800 million youth below the age of 35 years. They are eager for change; have the energy and drive to pursue it; and, the confidence to achieve it. When each of the five hundred odd towns produces ten Startups and each of our six hundred thousand villages produce six small businesses, on a regular basis, we will create an enormous economic momentum and generate a huge number of jobs in our country. India’s own ecosystem of startups is evolving rapidly. It is driven by the energy, enterprise and innovation of our youth.”
The Prime Minister launched the BHARAT Fund - Better Health, Agriculture, Renewables and Technologies. 7 MoUs were signed at the event.
The much anticipated India-US StartUp Konnect programme has begun. PM will join shortly. pic.twitter.com/EwydsZhB0t— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 27, 2015
Coming together to discuss and deliberate on start-ups...enthusiasm at Start-up Konnect programme. pic.twitter.com/zaGluSKWoT— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 27, 2015
The course of human history and progress has been shaped by imagination, inspiration, invention and innovation pic.twitter.com/LkocKye4h8— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) September 27, 2015
Roundtable on Renewable Energy
The Prime Minister met Mr. Ernest Moniz, US Secretary of Energy. He later chaired a roundtable on renewable energy.
Dr. Ernest Moniz, Secretary of Energy, United States; and Prof. Steven Chu, former US Secretary of Energy were present at the roundtable meeting.
Top energy CEOs and investors, including Ahmad Chatila, CEO SunEdison; Nikesh Arora, President and COO, Softbank; K.R. Sridhar, CEO, Bloom Energy; Jonathan Wolfson, CEO, Solazyme; John Doerr, Venture Capitalist; and Ira Ehrenpreis of DBL partners were present.
Prof Arun Majumdar, Prof Roger Noll, Dr. Anjani Kochar, and Prof. Sally Benson, all from Stanford University, participated.
Among the views expressed at the roundtable, was a clear assertion that India has the makings of becoming the “clean energy world capital.”
The participants said that clean and renewable energy will soon be an inexpensive energy option, with electricity storage becoming cheaper. Participants were of the view that States and Cities in India should be allowed to take the lead in clean energy initiatives. A related thought was that the current grid is not designed for carrying the 175 GigaWatts (GW) of renewable energy that India is targeting, and therefore a complimentary effort is required on the grid side. Private investment was emphasized as vital for realizing the vision of 175 GW, with a parallel example being given of how Israel had solved its water shortage using private investment.
The Prime Minister thanked the participants for their views, and emphasized India’s commitment to realize the vision of 175 GigaWatts of clean energy. He said there is massive scope of investment in the sector, for example, through the Railways, where 100 percent FDI has been allowed. He said the Government is working to address issues in regulation, and address the financial health of Discoms.
The Prime Minister also gave an overview of initiatives already undertaken in the area of renewable energy, such as Kochi Airport becoming a solar-powered airport, and solar panels being installed over a canal in Gujarat. He said that early next month, a district court in the tribal belt of Jharkhand will become entirely solar-powered. The Prime Minister also mentioned coal gasification as an important area of research. He expressed confidence of a renewable energy revolution over the next decade.
Thinking of a cleaner and greener planet...the round table on renewable energy has begun. pic.twitter.com/Xzm2AeNzTq— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 27, 2015
Address to Indian Community
The Prime Minister addressed the Indian diaspora at the SAP arena. He spoke of the partnership between India and US, forged on the shared values of democracy and innovation. He gave a broad overview of the work done by his Government over the last fifteen months. He complimented the Indian IT professionals of Silicon Valley for their contribution in changing for the better, the global perception of India.
Your fingers created magic on the keyboard and the computer and this gave India a new identity. Your skill & commitment is wonderful: PM— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 28, 2015
We would hear- we need to stop this brain drain. But India is Bahuratna Vasundhara, there will be many brains there: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 28, 2015
Our Sikh brothers came here years ago & began living here. When Indian wanted freedom here too there was a movement for India's freedom: PM— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 28, 2015
Terror and global warming are two pressing issues the world faces. We need to mitigate these two menaces: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 28, 2015
PM @narendramodi: From Upanishads we have moved to upgraha. India succeeded in its Mars Mission in the very first attempt.— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) September 28, 2015
E-Governance is easy, effective and economical governance. PM @narendramodi— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) September 28, 2015