WASHINGTON: India's Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu handed over the Padma Bhushan, one of the country's highest civilian Awards, to Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai in San Fransisco.
Taking to Twitter, Sandhu said, "Delighted to hand over Padma Bhushan to CEO @Google & Alphabet @sundarpichai in San Francisco. Sundar's inspirational journey from #Madurai to Mountain View, strengthening India-US economic and technology ties, reaffirms Indian talent's contribution to global innovation."
On the eve of the 73rd Republic Day, the Ministry of Home Affairs stated that Sundar Pichai would be conferred with Padma Bhushan.
After receiving the Padma Bhushan award from Sandhu, Pichai in his blog said, "I want to thank Ambassador Sandhu and Consul General Prasad for hosting me to receive the Padma Bhushan.
I am deeply grateful to the Indian government and the people of India for this immense honour. It is incredibly meaningful to be honoured in this way by the country that shaped me."
"India is a part of me. I carry it with me wherever I go. (Unlike this beautiful award which I will keep somewhere safe)," he added.
According to the blog, Google CEO said that he is fortunate to grow up in a family that cherished learning and knowledge, with parents who sacrificed a lot to make sure that he had opportunities to explore his interests.
Every new technology that arrived at our doorstep made our lives better.
And that experience put me on a path to Google, and the chance to help build technology that improves the lives of people all over the world, Pichai added.
Appreciating Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Digital India vision, Pichai said that Digital India's vision has certainly been an accelerator for that progress.
He also said that he felt proud to continue its investment in India, partnering with governments, businesses and communities over two transformative decades.
"We recently announced that we'll be investing USD 10 billion in India's digital future, working to enable more affordable internet access, building products for India's unique needs, helping businesses of all sizes in their digital transformation, and using AI to tackle big societal challenges," Google CEO said.
He further stated, "We're also investing deeply in digital skilling, and have trained over 1 million women through our WomenWill Entrepreneurship Program and over 55,000 teachers in partnership with the government and local organizations.
We've also sponsored over 100,000 Google Career Certificate sponsorships in collaboration with the NASSCOM Foundation and Tata Strive." Talking about the languages added to Google Translate, Pichai said that 8 of 24 are languages native to India.
It means so much to see how people can access information and knowledge in their preferred language, and see the world open up to them in new ways. "That's why I continue to be so optimistic about technology, and why I believe India can and must continue to lead," he added.
Pichai also said that he is looking forward to continuing the great partnership between Google and India, as we work together to bring the benefits of technology to more people.