Google CEO Sundar Pichai meets PM; Project Loon is on
18 December 2015
After pulling Google's Project Loon out of the regulatory rut and enthralling 1,800 students, Sundar Pichai, the Google chief executive officer on Thursday evening met Prime minister Narendra Modi.
The chief executive picked up the notes from his last meeting with the prime minister, which took place in Silicon Valley in September.
After the meeting, there has been a rise in engagement levels of the company with the Indian government as it announced that it will collaborate with the Indian Railways to provide wi-fi services at 500 stations by next year. Pichai had also announced that Google will enable users to type in 11 Indian languages, including Modi's mother tongue Gujarati, on the Android platform.
Pichai who is on a two-day visit to India is also scheduled to meet President Pranab Mukherjee. On the first day, he met telecommunications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad followed by finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday morning. He then enthralled 1,800 students at SRCC.
Ravi Shankar Prasad after meeting the Google CEO had said, ''In principle we agree for a pilot project for Project Loon. We are quite open on the project and BSNL will partner with Google for it.''
Prasad also said his department would consult the ministry of civil aviation and other security agencies for clearance of the project and issues surrounding it.
On 11 December, the telecommunications minister had told parliament that the centre was apprehensive about Project Loon interfering with cellular transmission and creating technical glitches – a fear rejected by the technology giant.
''The proposed frequency band in Google's Loon Project is being used for cellular operations and it will lead to interference with cellular transmissions,'' Prasad had said.
At SRCC, Pichai also revealed that he loves cricket and also talked about his company's vision and practices. While interacting with students, he said that his company was continuously reinventing itself to stay on top of the game.
''In the tech world, everything changes at a fast pace. You have to reinvent yourself. India is an amazing, vast country and in trends of future will come from India,'' Pichai said while having a conversation with cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle at SRCC.
The CEO said that the company was focussed on innovation and was always looking at building products for the future.
''Constantly thinking about what to do next, Android is here and doing good and we always think on what next. We think about virtual reality, constantly thinking about pushing forward. We have always had an ambitious mission. We want to do even better job. Do much better with Artificial Intelligence and machines,'' he said.