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Google hosted its seventh Google for India event on 18th of November.

Google shared its plan to help India fast track its digital transformation and the role it wants to play. 

Here are the key highlights from the event.

This time the emphasis was on making the internet safer for a billion Indians and empowering the country to become a leading digital economy.

Climate concerns

With climate change being real, Google is working on a range of climate-related efforts in India to fulfil its commitment to being carbon-free by 2030. 

Google has partnered with India Meteorological Department to launch weather alerts for any extreme climatic conditions as India gets affected by events such as heavy rainfall, heatwaves, cold waves or thunderstorms.

These alerts will be available on Android phones and Google Search. Users can also use voice commands such as “Weather near me” to get spoken weather alerts. As many parts of India suffer from natural disasters such as floods, Google has sent about 110 million notifications to 20 million affected people.

As pollution affects some parts of the country, Google has partnered with the Central Pollution Control Board to provide the latest Air Quality Index information from their nearest station.

Education, learning and skill development

Google is also working to develop the digital education and learning space in India. It has partnered with Coursera to deliver new courses for students to upskill their digital careers such as IT management, data analytics, UX design and others.

Source: Alamy Stock Photo

Through its Google Classroom program, it allows users to download class work whenever they have internet access and work on it later. Google Search is bringing free learning content such as the practice problem feature and the company is working to make this feature accessible with poor internet connectivity.

Google Read Aloud feature on Search-Google will also read aloud search results in the user’s language. The feature will work with Hindi for now it seems and work with any mobile browser, says the company. The read aloud feature will expand to more languages soon.

Source: Google Support

Google is also bringing the read aloud feature in native languages for Indian users. It will first be available in Hindi and will then expand in other languages.

Google showcased its Look to Speak app that was launched last year. It will now support five more Indian languages.

Source: Recode Hive

Making digital payments more accessible and intuitive

Talking about Google Pay, Ambarish Kenghe, VP for Google Pay, said that it had over 15 billion transactions annually. The company is bringing new features for payments such as Groups and Bill Split. The payment app will also be available in the Hinglish language to its users.

Source: Priyanka Mandal

The Google Coursera prices will range between ₹6,000 to ₹8,000 and it will also award 1,00,000 scholarships for Google Career Certificates Graduation cap in partnership with NASSCOM Foundation, Wipro, Times Internet and Tech Mahindra. Google will connect students to job opportunities through a consortium of companies.

Google Pay will also let users speak out the bank account number, instead of typing it when transferring money to one. Users can say it in Hindi or English and Google will figure out what the number is. Google Pay is getting a My Shop feature where a small store merchant can showcase the entire inventory from the app itself.

Making healthcare affordable and accessible to all

Google’s also looking to improve the healthcare facilities digitally. Google Assistant will now support end-to-end vaccination appointments. It will guide users to register a person for COVID-19 vaccination via Google Assistant in their native language.

Source: Android Central

Google brings the Mitra program in partnership with Armaan. It is aimed at benefiting women who are pregnant and very often lack access to basic healthcare. With Google’s AI, the program can pinpoint who is more at risk, and make sure they access the service better.

Source: BGR

Google Pay users in India will soon be able to interact in Hinglish, split bills and sell their products online.

 



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