Join India’s growth journey, Modi appeals to diaspora

Prime Minister says the two main challenges facing the world are terrorism and global warming.

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:32 pm IST

Published - September 28, 2015 11:00 pm IST - San Jose

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the crowd at SAP Centre in San Jose, California, on Sunday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the crowd at SAP Centre in San Jose, California, on Sunday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaffirmed his bond with an 18,000-strong audience of the Indian American community in Silicon Valley on Sunday evening and made a pitch for India’s economic development from the dividends of the “brain deposit” that they represented.

Speaking in Hindi to a packed SAP Centre Arena at the heart of the Valley, Mr. Modi announced that “Air India’s direct flight from Delhi to San Francisco will fly three times a week” from December 2, bringing India ever closer to the vibrant tech ecosystem here.

While he assured the diaspora that India today had emerged as the “fastest growing major economy,” he noted that the two main challenges facing the world were terrorism and global warming.

Even as the Prime Minister received a rousing welcome within the arena, a wall of protesters lined up outside the SAP Centre waving placards that questioned Mr. Modi’s human rights record in the context of the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat.

Possibly answering critics in the U.S. who had earlier questioned his record of achievements after one year in office, the Prime Minister asked the crowd: “Today, after 16 months, I want a certificate from you saying if I’ve fulfilled my duties or not. Do I have any allegations of corruption against me?”

In what appeared to be a dig at the Gandhi family he added: “The daughter took $500m, son-in-law took $1bn. Aren’t you sick and tired of corruption? Is there any allegation against me?”

Without naming Pakistan, Mr. Modi also hit out at terror threats faced by India. When even the UN had still been unable to define terrorism, how could India tackle it?

The reception for Mr. Modi here was organised by the Indo-American Community of the West Coast and was attended by 13 members of the Congress, including Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Wi-Fi for 500 rail stations unveiled

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday unveiled a proposal to provide superfast Wi-Fi broadband connectivity in 500 key railway stations across India that see a daily traffic of 10 million people.

Announcing additional plans for collaboration between India and Google, including next month’s rollout of 11-language typing capability for Android in India, Mr. Modi said, “Indian Railways and Google have come together to create Wi-Fi access in 500 railway stations, and one railway station is almost like one European country.”

Mr. Pichai said, “I remember taking the Coromandel Express every six months to IIT Kharagpur, and back.”

Seven MoUs exchanged

In a major boost for India’s start-up sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched the “Bharat Fund” at the India-U.S. StartUp Konnect forum, a fund that is aimed at providing seed funding to Indian entrepreneurs.

At the packed event, Indian and U.S. organisations exchanged seven memora-nda of understanding to boost start-up creation between India and the U.S.

Modi in USA - 2.0

>As it happened: Modi @ SAP Center, San Jose

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the Indian community at the SAP Center in Silicon Valley.

>As it happened: Modi @ Facebook headquarters in conversation with Mark Zuckerberg

Prime Minister Narendra Modi answered questions from the audience at a Townhall at the Facebook headquarters at Menlo Park, California.

>Google to provide Wi-Fi hotspots at 500 railway stations

Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday announced a proposal for introduction of broadband connectivity, through Wi-Fi hotspots, at 100 railway stations.

>Digital India dinner yields tech policy wins

Qualcomm Incorporated announced establishment of $150 million India-specific Venture Fund formed to foster promising Indian start-ups.

>Modi magic: New York 2014 vs San Jose 2015

Was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public reception at SAP Center in San Jose very different from the celebrated Madison Square Gardens one?

>Modi's major foreign visits: what they yielded

From wooing investors in Germany & UAE to inking trade pacts in Australia & Japan, Modi has been racking up his frequent flyer miles quite a bit.

>Modi boots up ‘Digital India’ with high-profile Silicon Valley show

He pitched to take India to the next stage of development through policy campaigns like Digital India and Make in India.

>Idea of start-ups close to my heart: Modi

Modi launched Bharat Fund at India-U.S. StartUp Konnect programme. It is aimed at providing seed funding to Indian entrepreneurs.

>Modi’s reforms enthuse top global CEOs

42 CEOs of Fortune 500 companies were “upbeat” expressed happiness at the changes being spearheaded by Modi's government.

>Our march in step with U.N. vision: Modi

Modi presented his govt.’s domestic development agenda as in alignment with Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

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