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Google’s ‘primary’ goal

Philanthropy

The education space in India has been growing in the recent years and several corporates have been eager to be a part of this change. Google is the latest entrant in this field.

“We are a 11-year-old company. We did not have any money seven years ago. But, considering the fact that every child in the world needs to be educated, the higher the number of companies that come forward to support the cause, the better it is. The objective is to make sure that every child in the world is educated so that he/she can do something worthwhile,” says Nikesh Arora, senior vice-president and chief business officer, Google.
Referring to the new initiative to support the Satya Bharti schools, run by the Bharti Foundation — the philanthropic arm of Bharti Enterprises, Arora informs that Google will provide financial support of US$ 5 million to upgrade and support 50 elementary schools run by the Bharti Foundation in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Arora reiterates that the role of public-private partnerships is becoming even more important. “It is important for everybody in any country to take on the responsibility of not just providing products and services to the society but also to try and see how they can make a difference,” he says, further adding that since most companies have the ability to organise and get things done, they should try and deploy some part of that human capital to make the world a better place to live in.

As far as human capital is concerned, India is one of the countries that produce the highest numbers of graduates, but the cause for concern is that they are not industry-ready. In this context, vocational education could work as a viable solution.

Arora agrees that education aims to provide people with the ability to go and fend for themselves. So education has to be not just for the purpose of learning but also for the purpose of allowing people to go out and make a living. “If there is any form of education that helps facilitate the process and makes it easier and quicker, why not?” Arora asks.

With a background as an analyst, one of Arora’s main areas of focus has been IT. And within the IT sector, he points out, the world is moving towards the ‘cloud.’ “Cloud computing is the future,” he adds.

Times of India, February 7, 2011

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