Search in local languages, voice-based COVID-19 vaccine booking and more: Top announcements from Google for India 2021 event

By: |
November 18, 2021 7:05 PM

The announcements at the seventh Google for India event underline the tech giant’s focus on product innovations to help India’s new Internet users get easier access to information.

Google for IndiaGoogle has also enabled a feature to let people hear search results.

Google today announced several new product features and partnerships to extend the benefits of the country’s growing digital economy.

The announcements at the seventh Google for India event underline the tech giant’s focus on product innovations to help India’s new Internet users get easier access to information.

Google India Country Head and Vice President Sanjay Gupta said: “Across people, businesses, and institutions, the outbreak of Covid-19 has catapulted India’s adoption of digital to unprecedented levels.”

“It is now imperative that we step up our efforts in building products that are even more inclusive of India’s diverse and unique needs. Today’s announcements aim at bridging more gaps and further broadening the inclusive base of India’s digital economy.”

Google announced 100,000 scholarships to expand the base of digitally-trained talent ready for jobs in high-growth areas. The scholarship for Google Career Certificates will identify underserved learners for free enrolment to a Google Career Certificate of their choice.

A Google Assistant-backed end-to-end vaccine booking flow will help users book vaccination appointments on CoWIN with voice guidance in English and eight Indian languages.

Google Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan said: “The pandemic showed us that we’re only scratching the surface of how we can make information as useful as possible.”

“…the number of Indians using voice queries daily is nearly two times the global average, and one-third of Google Assistant users in India are communicating with it in local languages for needs big and small. I’m happy to share our next milestone in this important work, with a pilot of the first-ever Google Assistant-enabled, end-to-end vaccine booking flow in India.”

Search and Google Fellow Vice President Pandu Nayak spoke on the need to tackle the challenges of making high-quality information available in local languages, and announced a new Search feature to give users the option to access web pages from other languages in their preferred language.

In a global-first launch, Google has also enabled a feature to let people hear search results. This feature will be available in Hinglish, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, and Telugu.

Nayak said: “We hope these improvements go a long way towards helping local language users access relevant information. We’re looking forward to bringing these and many more language-based features to Google products, to help advance the Indian internet ecosystem.”

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