Google CEO Sundar Pichai is at Delhi University’s Sri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) to interact with students. Pichai is in India to share his company’s future plans for the Indian market and to showcase the efforts that the tech giant is putting in to connect more Indians to the Internet.
Google says Pichai will answer students’ “questions about his personal journey, career and Google.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had also participated a similar session at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi during his India visit in October.
The Q&A session at Delhi University is being moderated by cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle.
You can watch the event live here and follow live updates on the live blog below:
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Harsha is attempting to take a 360-degree selfie with Sundar Pichai.
Q: Why are special edition Star Wars Google Cardboards not available in India?
A: We have to figure this out. We will figure out a way to get it to everyone in the room here today.
Q: How much did you score in your Class 12?
A: Not enough to get into Shri Ram College of Commerce.
Q: Should coding should be made compulsory?
A: Not compulsory, but should be encouraged.
Roundfire Questions –
Q: When did you buy your first phone?
A: Motorola Startec in 1995. First smartphone in 2006. In my house there are 20-30 smartphones.
Q: We seldom hear of non-computer science graduates working at Google?
Sundar: We do hire a lot of non-computer science undergrad. I am confident that a majority of people of Google don’t have a computer science undergrad.
Q: Is it true that you could recall every phone number you ever dialled?
Sundar: I can’t do it now. I used to be able to do it a long time ago.
Q: There are many Google services not available in India?
Sundar: We are working very hard to bring projects to India. We are bringing Project Loon to India. We are looking at opportunities to do things first in India and then make it available in other countries. We are expanding our engineering operations in India.
Ruchika: How is your vision of Google different from Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s?
Sundar: I share a lot in common with Page and Brin.
Ruchika: What will Google do to involve women in technology?
Sundar: This is a global problem. We have initiated a project in rural India to connect women to the Internet.
Sushma: How will Google and India benefit from the free WiFi project in railway stations?
Sundar: This is the largest public WiFi project in the world. You can watch your favourite Bollywood movies in high resolution and many other things as well (applause). We want to connect as many people as possible.
I am absolutely confident that it (big companies such as Google) will happen in India. It is only a matter of time: Sundar
Sundar: I didn’t like sweets when I was younger. I used to add sambar to payasam so that it wouldn’t taste that sweet.
Video question: Why do we not have Indian deserts as Android version names like Ladoo, Peda, Nan-khatai?
Sundar: When I meet my Mom, I will ask for suggestions, For the next version Android N, we could conduct an online poll.
Malini Narayanan: How can the Indian education system adapt itself to become future ready and get an edge over other nations?
Sundar: India has a culture of valuing education. We need to encourage creativity and also learning how to get things done by hand, experiential learning. And making sure that the system doesn’t penalise you for being different.
Shreya Goswami: How Google is planning to help student developers?
Sundar: In India there is more interest in software development than most countries in the world. We plan to train about 2 million developers in India in association with over 30 universities.
Q: How do startups from IITs have on India’s growth?
Sundar: India can do the same kinds of things as the Internet becomes more mainstream. I think we are very well positioned.
Saumya Doshi: What motivated you to shift fields from metallurgy to management to computer science?
Sundar: I didn’t think it of as switching careers. At some point of life you need to work with people who make you feel insecure.
Chandra Nayar: What would you would have been if you hadn’t been the CEO of Google?
Sundar: I would still be building software products.
One day the self-driving cars will learn how to drive in Delhi: Harsha
Harsha: Can Google make 150kmph bowlers?
Sundar: If we could do that, I would make me the fastest bowler in the world.
T20 is something I didn’t grow up with. I don’t enjoy it as much as One Day or Test cricket: Pichai
“Test cricket or T20?”: Harsha asks Sundar
I am a huge football fan as well. I am a very big Barcelona and Messi fan as well: Pichai
“In Silicon Valley starting a company and failing is like wearing it as a badge of honour,” says Pichai.
Sundar cites Harsha as someone who followed his heart, quit IIM and did what he wanted to do.
“Is it mandatory for an Indian to go to the west to become a tech star?” Harsha asks Sundar.
You are the Rahul Dravid of the tech industry: Harsha to Sundar.
“Don’t believe everything you hear,” responds Sundar to loud applause.
“Sundar Pichai is an example that good guys finish first,” asks Harsha.
I used to be a huge fan of Gavaskar, and later Sachin: Pichai
A smiling Sundar Pichai arrives on stage to a big round of applause.
“Who are the latest rockstars?”
“We are post-grad as well,” SRCC students correct Harsha.
Harsha Bhogle is moderating the session.
The event is about to begin in a few minutes.
#AskSunder what Google will do to eradicate poverty in India and develop technologies for marine engg.?
— shashank jaiswal (@shashank9305) December 17, 2015
— Roshani (@Roshani_Thokne) December 17, 2015
In the #AskSundar chat session at the Sri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), Pichai will be taking questions from students across the nation.
After interacting with the country’s media at the Google For India event yesterday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai will have a candid chat session today with the students of the University of Delhi.