Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Reuters

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at the Facebook headquarter in Menlo Park at Silicon Valley, and is participating in a townhall with Mark Zuckerberg.

Modi became the first Indian leader in almost three decades to visit the West Coast in the United States.

Modi and Zuckerberg discussed social and economic challenges in India and bringing about digital connectivity in the country. Watch Modi's Facebook townhall LIVE

The Indian prime minister had made a push for 'Digital India' at Silicon Valley at a meeting with the top tech CEOs of the world at San Jose in California. 


11.00 pm IST: The townhall session ends on an emotional note as Modi remembers the role of his mother in his life. 

10. 58 pm IST: Mark Zuckerberg asks a 'personal' question to PM Modi. 

Q. I know that your mother is very important in your life. Can you tell us about her?


For every person, the role of a mother and a teacher is important. In my life, too, my parents had a big role. I came from a poor family, used to sell tea. 

My father is not alive now. My mother is above 90 years of age and still does all her work by herself. She follows news though she is not educated. When I was young, she used to wash vessels in other people's houses," says an emotional Modi.

There are many other mothers in the country who do the same for their children's dreams.

I salute all the mothers. 

10.50 pm IST: What is your stand on women's empowerment, especially the role of women in progressive India? - Ranjana Kumari, women's activist


If India has to achieve success, then the 50% of the population cannot be closed indoors. The women of the country should have 100% partnership with the men. 

Today, in terms of health and education, men have to make reservations. Women have taken control in the health and education sectors. 

We have decided on 30% reservation for women in the police force. 

There are several regions in India where there is 50% reservation for women in local governance bodies. We are also debating on making 50% reservation for women in the Parliament. Women should have 50% partnership in decision-making process. 

Families should also empower women. We have started the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao scheme for this purpose. 

10.40 pm IST: -

Q. "Do you think it has become easier to do business in India? Do you think Make in India will be successful? -TS Khurrana, Facebook employee


Steering a train is not as easy as riding a scooter. The cumulative effect of any change takes time. 

India stood at 140th position as per World Bank report for ease of doing business. It is a deterrent for businesses. 

India has achieved great strides in the ease of doing business in the last six months. 

The success of Make in India lies in the fact that any person looking for low cost manufacturing, skilled workforce, raw material and the biggest market can set up business in our country. 

We have 3 Ds - Demographic dividend, democracy and demand. 

We have a vibrant democracy, vibrant media and judiciary. We have a demand of 1.25 billion people. 

"My philosophy is that government has no business to interfere in business. 

10.37 pm IST:

Q. The main role of the government should be to invest in the digital infrastructure. What investment is your government going to make to make the people of India get connected? - Vir Kashyap, Babajob founder


We have to focus on physical infrastructure, which is a requirement of the country, as well as digital infrastructure. I have to simultaneously handle both. In this 21st century, the importance that highways have is the same as the importance of i-ways. 

In India, I want to connect all villages with optical fibre network. We are making efforts to bring technology into governance. 

10.35 pm IST: "Social media has given a new form for diplomacy, I am active on social media even in China," says Modi. 

10.30 pm IST: The first question to PM Modi is by Zuckerberg himself.

Q. When you joined social media, did you think it could be used as a tool for governance and diplomacy?


When I started using social media, I did not think I would be the prime minister one day, and that it could be used for governance. I was not very educated, but social media helped me become more aware about the world. 

When I came into governance, I realized there was a big gap. Through social media, there is a daily voting. Even now, people are voting if Modi is right or wrong. 

Today, social media has the strength to stop a government from taking wrong steps and gives the opportunity to correct mistakes. 

A good government can function thanks to real time information. They can take corrective measures and take speedy decisions. Social media has thus played a big role in governance. 

10.29 pm IST: "We received more than 40,000 questions for PM Modi," says Zuckerberg.

10.28 pm IST: "Perception about India has changed," Modi said. 

10.25 pm IST: "My dream is to make India a $20 trillion dollar economy. For that, I have to focus on the agricultural sector, the services sector and the manufacturing sector," says the Indian PM. 

10.24 pm IST: "When you came to India, you came with a lot of hopes, and look where you have reached. Your experience shows that those who come to India, there is something that will help them achieve their aspirations, Modi tells Zuckerberg. 

10.22 pm IST: "I am very happy to be at Facebook", says Indian PM Narendra Modi.

10.20 pm IST: "I am impressed with the example PM Modi has set in the use of social media to directly communicate with citizens. The leader of the world's largest democracy is setting an example for all world leaders," says Zuckerberg. 

10.17 pm IST: Zuckerberg says his travel to India reinforced the importance of Facebook and social media. 

10.15 pm IST: The townhall has begun. 

10.00 pm IST: PM Modi being received by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

9.55 pm IST: PM Narendra Modi and Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg are set to begin the Townhall. 

9.50 pm IST: Indian PM Narendra Modi has arrived at Menlo Park in California. 

9.45 pm IST: Indian employees at Google await Modi's visit.

8.47 pm IST: Modi and Zuckerberg have changed their respective profile pictures on Facebook ahead of the townhall. The photos are overlapped with the Indian tricolour.

"I changed my profile picture to support Digital India, the Indian government's effort to connect rural communities to the internet and give people access to more services online. Looking forward to discussing this with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Facebook today," Zuckerberg said on Facebook.

"Thanks Mark Zuckerberg for the support. I changed my DP in support of the efforts towards a Digital India," the Indian PM replied on his page.

Thanks Mark Zuckerberg for the support. I changed my DP in support of the efforts towards a Digital India. Your too can change your DP at

Posted by Narendra Modi on Sunday, September 27, 2015

8.43 pm IST: Indian PM Narendra Modi is set to arrive at the Facebook headquarter.

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