Facebook will create $1 million fund to help develop apps for farmers, women and migrants

IFM Correspondent

October 9, 2014: Seeing exponential growth potential for Facebook in India, its co-founder Mark Zuckerberg said he will discuss with Prime Minister Narendra Modi ways to connect villages with the digital world.

He is excited about helping the Indian government in its ambitious Digital India Programme.

“India is an amazing country with unlimited potential. It is a place of big ambitions and Facebook is deeply committed to the country. We see lot of growth for us here. Tomorrow, I’m meeting the Prime Minister. He is committed to connecting villages online and we are excited to see how Facebook can help,” Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is creating a $1 million fund to help developers develop apps for farmers, migrants and women. This will be a contest to drive new apps and services in local languages. “Since 2007, Facebook has been working on new apps and services in local languages. About 65% use Facebook in a language other than English, including 10 Indian languages,” he added.

On barriers in internet penetration, he said, “There are three major barriers to connectivity network, affordability and content.” He said that technology has to serve the society and cannot be the privilege of the rich.

“When the benefits of technology are shared across the whole society, that is when we can make the big leap. Because India has embraced science, the next generation has the opportunity to bring the world to India and India to the world,” he added.

He said that the whole world is being robbed of creativity and ideas because so many people in India are not online.

Zuckerberg said through Internet.org, the industry aims to make internet access affordable for people across the globe.

Earlier report: Facebook announces change in research policy