Social Media

Zuckerberg gets a taste of rural India

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on October 10, 2014 Published on October 10, 2014

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerbergin a meeting in New Delhi on Friday.   -  PTI

Also meets Prime Minister on Digital India initiative





Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg who envisions Internet access to the remotest corner of the world, took time out on Friday to visit a village in Rajasthan to experience the real impact of Internet in rural India.

One of the youngest billionaires in the world, Zuckerberg visited Chandauli (near Alwar) to see the work done by a not-for-profit organisation Digital Empowerment Foundation

“It was part of his (Mark Zuckerberg) Internet.org project and he wanted to see Internet reach in India,” Osama Manzar, Founder and Director, Digital Empowerment Foundation, told BusinessLine. He added that everyone should get Internet access in the future. Manzar said Zuckerberg was impressed that many people from Chandauli are learning how to use the Internet. Speaking about the efforts of the Foundation in this regard, Manzar said: “It is not only the information centre, but a skilling centre too. People from the village are learning the use of Internet in daily lives such as buying railways tickets and many other things.”

During the meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Zuckerberg said that Facebook will help in the creation of the Clean India Mobile App and that it would be launched soon. They also talked about the Digital India initiative. The Prime Minister asked Zuckerberg to identify some domains of Digital India where Facebook can get involved and help.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister said that a lot of terrorist elements are using social media platforms to recruit members to join them. This is unfortunate and that we need to think of the role social media can play to stop terror, he added. Modi appealed to Zuckerberg to promote India’s rich tourism potential through Facebook.

Zuckerberg also met the Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, who tweeted saying he shared the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Digital India with Zuckerberg.

Prasad tweeted: “Facebook can harness the potentials in the field of e-Health, e-Education, sanitation, cleanliness and e-Commerce in India.”

Prasad said Facebook’s founder also shared the idea of Internet.org with him. “It’s a great tool for providing free basic internet services,” Prasad said. Internet.org is a platform launched by Facebook to bring telecom operators, handset makers and other stakeholders in reaching Internet access to the world.



Published on October 10, 2014
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