Google aims to get 500 mn Internet users in India by 2017

Written by Pupul Dutta | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 19 2014, 14:30pm hrs
GoogleGoogle today announced the Indian Language Internet Alliance (ILIA), aimed at promoting the growth of Indic-language (Reuters)
Google today announced the Indian Language Internet Alliance (ILIA), aimed at promoting the growth of Indic-language content online. Through this initiative, the popular search engine plans to, in the words of Rajan Anandan, VP and Managing Director of Google India, make Internet in India useful for everyone.

According to Anandan, there are about 200 million Indian Internet users and about 5 million new users are added every month. Also, almost 100% of these new users come through mobile, he said.

Anandan also said that Google aims to get 500 million internet users in India by 2017. The ssearch engine major also announced its Hindi Voice Search and launched the website hindiWeb.com, which shall offer curated content in Hindi.

Amit Singhal, Googles Senior Vice President of Search, said, Our mission at Google is to ensure the worlds information is universally accessible, and this includes the millions of users in India who are about to come online for the first time. Hindi Voice Search will be just one of the many steps Google is taking to empower the Indian language users and advertisers to take advantage of the webs huge economic and social potential.

Minister of State Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar, who was also present at the launch of hindiweb.com, said he believes that Google's goal of bringing 500 million people online is attainable. "I believe 50 crore people will come online because Indians are the best at adaptation," he said. Javadekar said farmers in India have always been able to adapt to modern farming techniques, using the analogy to highlight his belief in the Indian Language Internet Alliance's goal.

Though the company is focusing on Hindi currently, but it plans to use this to build inputs and search in other Indian languages such as Marathi, Tamil and Gujarati. The company declined to give a timeline for launching similar initiatives for other languages.