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Technology tops Modi agenda on West Coast

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Washington: As Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads to Silicon Valley, the US media noted that like Chinese president Xi Jinping, the technology industry will play a central role in his discussions there.

Xi who started his US visit in Seattle with a meeting with tech leaders on Wednesday, the day Modi landed in New York to woo investors, was hosted for a state dinner by President Barack Obama Friday after two days of talks.

Photo credit: travelbeats.indianeagle.com
Photo credit: travelbeats.indianeagle.com

But unlike Xi, Modi’s “whirlwind tour of Silicon Valley, including visits to Tesla, Stanford, Google and Facebook,” according to the New York Times , “is more likely to be a celebration than tense discussions about hacking and security restrictions.”

“A number of tech leaders, including top executives of Microsoft and Google and several influential venture capitalists, are Indian-American,” it noted.

“And Indians are a fast-growing part of Silicon Valley’s engineering and business circles.”

“Modi, a technophile who regularly posts on Facebook and Twitter, is expected to spend much of his time courting Silicon Valley to do business in India even as he calls attention to his country’s influence on the technology industry,” the Times said.

The USA Today said Modi “swinging through Silicon Valley …was looking to raise his country’s profile on the global stage.

“Modi sees technology as vital to bringing more economic growth to India,” it said.

He has “launched an ambitious set of ‘Digital India’ initiatives to create more tech jobs, increase electronics manufacturing, expand internet access to thousands of Indian villages and develop mobile apps to improve government services.”

“Some of those efforts have raised concerns about digital privacy,” USA Today said calling them “a faint echo of the concerns that swirled around” Xi’s visit with US tech leaders this week.

“Modi is capitalising on growing interest and investment by global investors in Indian start-ups,” it said.

“His visit also affords Facebook and Google the opportunity to press him on issues such as India’s unreliable infrastructure, slow Internet speeds, bureaucratic red tape and confusing tax laws, all of which have slowed investment,” USA Today said.

Milpitas Patch reported that a community reception Sunday at the SAP Centre organized by Indo American Community of West Coast will be attended by several elected officials. They include House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Representatives Eric Swalwell and John Garamendi.

“This visit really amplifies San Jose’s opportunity to take the city to the next level, to play on an international stage,” Mayor Sam Liccardo was quoted as saying. “We’re proud to be a community in Silicon Valley where over 200,000 Indian-Americans have enriched our community,” he said.

Ash Kalra, the first Indian-American to serve on the City Council, said Silicon Valley should play a role in the prime minister’s vision for a ‘digital India’.

Kalra said, he sees Modi’s visit as the start of a partnership between India and the city of San Jose.

“The key goal of the visit is to bring the innovation mindset, innovation culture that we have here in the valley to India,” entrepreneur and event co-chair Naren Gupta said.

Arun Kumar, IANS

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PM Modi Advises Scientists To Use Science to Improve Lives

PM Narendra Modi tells Scientists to use science to improve the lives of citizens

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Modi advises Scientists
Prime Minister Modi tells scientists that science and technology should be used to bettering the lives of citizens. Wikimedia Commons

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday called upon scientists to take up challenges in their research for bettering the daily lives of common citizens, especially farmers, help in reaching clean drinking water, solar power to the people, and solving problems such as pollution.

Highlighting the importance of ‘science for society’, Modi said when all “scientists, all citizens, will move forward with this understanding, both the country and mankind will be benefited”.

“To know the connection between science and society, we have to give answers to some questions. Everybody knows the pollution problem due to increased use of plastic. Can our scientists take up the challenge to come up with saleable and cost effective material which can take the place of plastic?” the Prime Minister asked while inaugurating the India International Science Festival through video conferencing from Delhi.

Indian PM Narendra Modi
PM Narendra Modi highlights the importance of ‘Science for Society’. Wikimedia Commons

Modi exhorted scientists assembled from India and abroad for the mega event whether they can take up the challenge to find a better way to store energy or electricity.

“Can we get a solution so that the use of solar power can go up, can we come up with an innovation related to battery and other infrastructure to reach electric mobility to the common man?

“Have we thought of doing something in our lab which can improve the lives of crores of people? Can we find a solution to local drinking water problems and reach clean drinking water to the people?” he asked.

Also Read-Vietnam and Australia to Start Collaborating on Science Initiatives

Modi also urged scientists to ponder over whether they can invent something which would cut down healthcare cost, and benefit peasants by increasing their income.

“We have to think how use of science can help in easing the lives of the people,” he said. (IANS)