|In a Suit, Meeting PM Modi: Mark Zuckerberg’s Status Update
|Tuesday, October 14, 2014
New Delhi: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, usually uniformed in jeans, a t-shirt and sneakers (hoodie optional), was on Friday in a dark-coloured suit and tie to meet with the Prime Minister.
On Thursday, the 30-year-old said his social media network wants to help the PM connect remote villages to the Internet.
He said India had huge potential, with only around 243 million of its people currently online.
"With more than one billion people still to be connected, India is just at the beginning. It is not only a challenge for Facebook but for everybody," he told a conference in New Delhi.
Mr Zuckerberg is on a two-day visit to India aimed at promoting the internet.org app, which allows people in underdeveloped areas to access basic online services.
"We believe that connectivity is a human right and one of the fundamental challenges for our generation," Mr Zuckerberg said in Delhi.
He denied accusations he is seeking to create a monopoly in access to online content in the developing world, saying mobile operators were free to decide which services they included, and did not have to include Facebook.
He said the app, which Facebook launched in Zambia earlier this year in cooperation with Samsung and other partners, will not be available immediately in India.
"India is such an important country with so many people that we didn’t want to start here with the risk of not doing well," said Zuckerberg.
Mr Zuckerberg said Facebook is now "focusing on content in local languages" to address the needs of Indians in different parts of the country.