PM Modi set for Facebook outreach and digital diplomacy in California

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Imparting a new dimension to digital diplomacy, which is increasingly becoming his signature style, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to hold a town hall-style tete-a-tete at Facebook headquarters in San Francisco on September 27.

Announcing PM Modi’s visit to Facebook, the founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post, “I’m excited to announce that Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India will be visiting Facebook HQ later this month for a Townhall Q&A.” PM Modi wasn’t far behind and confirmed his visit in a tweet saying, “I thank Mark Zuckerberg for the invite to visit @facebook HQ & for the Townhall Q&A at 10 PM ISTon 27th September.” The San Francisco event will be webcast live on the Facebook profiles of both Modi and Zuckerberg. Mr Zuckerberg is no stranger to Mr Modi, who had met the billionaire entrepreneur during his visit to India in October 2014.

Networking with tech giants will be the showpiece of Modi’s first visit to the US West Coast and the first prime ministerial visit from India outside New York and Washington in more than three decades. The wide-ranging interactions with CEOs of Facebook, Google and other tech entrepreneurs is expected to generate much-needed support for PM Modi’s Digital India mission.

Facebook has its Indian operations headquartered in Hyderabad, while Google is also headquartered in Hyderabad and has a sizable workforce operating in Bangalore as well. Outside the US, Facebook has maximum number of users from India, which is estimated to be around 125 million (as of June 2015), according to Facebook. Recently Google made the Indian-origin Sundar Pichai as its CEO and PM Modi had even congratulated him and said he looked forward to meeting him. Google is all set to set up its biggest campus in Hyderabad apart from the existing one at its headquarters in Mountainview, California. The Indian campus is expected to add thousands of new jobs.

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