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Zuckerberg pledges Facebook's support for India's ambitious internet program

posted 10 Oct 2014, 06:50 by Mpelembe   [ updated 10 Oct 2014, 06:52 ]

Mark Zuckerberg pledges Facebook's support to meet India's ambitious program to connect a billion people to the internet and help support the government's education, health and social initiatives.


NEW DELHIINDIA (OCTOBER 10, 2014) (ANI) -  Facebook Chief, Mark Zuckerberg, met India's Information and Technology (IT) Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, in New Delhi on Friday (October 10), pledging to help the government's Digital India initiative, an ambitious plan to connect a billion people to the internet.

India has the second highest number of Facebook users in the world after the United States, but still only about 243 million out of 1.25 billion people have access to internet.

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"To help out with this amazing Digital India initiative that the administration is focused on, connecting more than a billion people to the internet is going to not only improve the lives of a lot of people in India but helping to spread the innovation and the imagination of the Indian people will help everyone around the world and we are very excited to help out in whatever way we can," said Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg and Prasad also discussed ways in which the social networking giant could help promote education, health and social initiatives throughout the country, which include female empowerment and plans to clean up the River Ganges.

"Facebook is willing to work in India in the field of broadband retailing, e-education, e-health and also in the spread of many other government programmes in the manner they have been doing in the other parts of the world," said Prasad.

Zuckerberg is in India on a two-day visit to promote the app that has provided access for many people in underdeveloped areas to basic online services.

The Facebook co-founder's arrival in India comes close on the heels of visits by Satya Nadella of Microsoft and Jeff Bezos of Amazon.

He is also due to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi later on Friday.