PM Narendra Modi to champion ‘free and open’ internet on world stage

Jul 05 2014, 12:28 IST
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Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg with PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg with PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI
SummaryFacebook COO Sheryl Sandberg met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday in New Delhi.

Facebook chief operating officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday in New Delhi, has posted that greater internet access will lead to opportunities in economic, social and political areas for people in India.

Sandberg in her blog post on Facebook said, “India is important to the global economy as well as to Facebook and we look forward to working together on internet.org.”

The COO on her first official visit to India is the second most powerful person in the organisation after founder Mark Zuckerberg. Her book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead was published last year and created quite a sensation in the market.

She expressed her appreciation to the Prime Minister for making education for girls and women a priority as equal opportunity is essential for strengthening all economies.

Sandberg led a all female delegation for the meeting. According to her post, Modi also emphasised on how digital diplomacy can change national and international dialogue and he has plans to champion free and open internet on the world stage.

Later Modi in his blog post on Facebook said, “Being an avid user of social media myself, I talked about ways through which a platform such as Facebook can be used for governance and better interaction between the people and governments. I also talked about how Facebook can be used to bring more tourists to India.”

The government also intends to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary year with a special focus on cleanliness and Modi sought the assistance of Facebook in this endeavour.

Modi had extensively used the social media in the general elections and is very active with Twitter posts and messages on

Facebook.

India is the second largest market for Facebook with around 100 million members.

The company has been aggressively hunting for new avenues to increase advertising revenue and the SME sector in India, which has over 25 million firms. According to Facebook, 84 million of its 100 million users in India access the social networking site from mobile devices.

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