Google announced Wednesday that it plans to ramp up its engineering presence in India. Part of that push will involve launching a program to train two million new Android developers over the next three years, the company said. To do so, it will partner with more than 30 universities in India.
“Google India started with five employees in 2004 and since then has grown to be amongst the largest Google employee bases outside of U.S. with close to 1700 employees,” Caesar Sengupta, Google’s VP for Chrome and Android, wrote in a blog posting.
“And as smartphones have brought millions more online, Indians have become some of the most enthusiastic Google users. Using products like Gmail, Translate and Android, India is second only to the U.S. in total number of mobile Search queries.”
Back in September, the company said it would be bringing Wi-Fi to 400 train stations across the country, and today the first wave of that promise is being delivered: Mumbai Central is going online.
“We are also expanding our program with Tata Trusts to connect women in rural India through a fleet of Internet bikes,” Sengupta said. “We’ve hit 1,000 villages so far, and now we are adding resources with the hope of reaching 300,000 villages nationwide within three years.”
Last month, Google rolled out an update to Chrome on Android that enables data saving of up to 70 percent. Users in India and Indonesia were the first to get the update. Offline usage for YouTube on mobile also came to India first at around the same time.
Google also said the new Asus Chromebit, an $85 HDMI stick running Chrome OS, will be available in India from January. Meanwhile, at the start of this month it opened a YouTube Space — its eighth globally — in Mumbai.
“Today’s announcements are just our latest steps in our journey to bring all Indians online and make the Internet more relevant and useful for their needs,”Sengupta concluded. “There are still nearly a billion people in India who don’t have access to the Internet.”