Internet search giant Google will team up with the Government of India to provide free Wi-Fi services at 500 railway stations across the country "in a short time", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing leading CEOs at Silicon Valley on Saturday.
"We are expanding our public Wi-Fi hotspots. For example, we want to ensure that free Wi-Fi is not only there in airport lounges, but also on our railway platforms. Teaming up with Google, we will cover 500 railway stations in a short time," PTI quoted Modi as saying.
Modi, who is on a trip to the United States, made the announcement when he met 350 CEOs from California over 'Digital India' dinner. The meeting was meant for the PM to pitch his Digital India initiative with the leading heads of IT companies in Silicon Valley.
Besides, Modi also pitched for expansion of the National Optical Fibre Network to take broadband to 6,00,000 villages and connect schools and colleges with broadband. He also hopes to establish Common Service Centres in villages to connect farmers with markets.
Google to provide high speed internet services at 100 Indian railway stations and expand it to 400 by next year, says its CEO Sundar Pichai.
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) September 27, 2015
"We will connect all schools and colleges with broadband. Building I—ways are as important as highways," he said.
"We want to turn our villages into smart economic hubs and connect our farmers better to markets and make them less vulnerable to the whims of weather," the PM added.
Pitching ideas for his Digital India initiative, Modi said that his government wants to make use of mobile phones through M-Governance or mobile governance. He also pitched for digitalising paper works.
"We will transform governance, making it more transparent, accountable, accessible and participative... In a nation of one billion cell phones, M-Governance or mobile governance has the potential to make development a truly inclusive and comprehensive mass movement. It puts governance within everyone's reach," Modi said.
"We want paperless transactions. We will set up a digital locker for every citizen to store personal documents that can be shared across departments," he added.