Indians spending 20% more time on smartphones: Google Indias Sanjay Gupta – Business Standard


Digital skilling and education were the broad themes of the seventh edition of Google’s India-focused event ‘Google for India’, held virtually for the second time on Thursday.

Setting the tone for a slew of announcements, Google’s India Country Head Sanjay Gupta said Indians are now spending 20 per cent more time on smartphones with 2.5 times more smartphone users in the last 12 months compared to the previous year.

He also announced “Google Career Certificates for upskillers’. The programme is developed by Google, and courses will be available on learning platform Coursera.

Learners can pick up skills such as information technology automation, project management, data analytics, user interface design and others through the programme.

Designed for the Indian market, the courses will be priced between Rs 6,000-8,000, and will be supported by a consortium of employers, including the likes of Tech Mahindra and Accenture.

The programme aims to skill 1 million people in the next two years, Gupta said.

Industry partners for the programme include Nasscom Foundation, Safeducate and Tata Strive, who will provide a Rs 1 lakh scholarships for those in need.

“The impact of digital literacy can be life changing. Digital skill not only improves employability, but also empowers people get self employment. We have heard wonderful stories emerging from small towns about enterprising individuals with varying degree of formal education, evolving their digital skills to set up online stores, create content or offer online services,” said Minister of Education and Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan at the event.

Through Google’s partnership with the government of Maharashtra and Delhi, and the Central Board of Secondary Education and FICCI Arise, 550,000 teachers have been trained in digital skills.

The tech giant is further supporting foundational literacy and numeracy programmes in Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, and Gujarat through the “Read Along” app, its Android language-learning app for children.

Google’s blended ;earning platform for students and teachers, which enables easy file sharing and simplifying assignments and grading, will also be available offline. It will allow users to download study material whenever they have Internet access, and use it later.

Multiple images can be selected and submitted as homework.

As more and more educational institutions continue to offer online courses, Google has introduced a Practice Problem feature.

Now when you run a Google search for any high school Maths, Physics, Chemistry topic, you will find free learning content from top education providers like Byju’s, Vedantu, Toppr, Doubtnut, Career6360 and others.

Google also announced a partnership with Small Industries Development Bank of India to support micro, small and medium enterprises especially enterprises run by women and those involved in production of health and safety materials.

On the payments front, Google Pay today has over 10 million merchants present across the over 19,000 PIN codes in India.

It will soon launch a MyShop feature on Google Pay for Business, which will provide merchants a quick store builder tool.

Users on Google Pay will also be able to use their voice while making direct transfers to bank accounts, and users will be able to use Hinglish on the app by early 2022.


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