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Highlights

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday left the tech world charmed at its very epicentre in Silicon Valley, securing an endorsement for his ambitions \"Digital India\" project from the chief executives of some of the world\'s top firms in the business like Apple,

Prime Minister Narendra Modi claps with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, John T Chambers, Executive Chairman of Cisco, Paul E Jacobs, Executive Chairman of Qualcomm as Google CEO Sundar Pichai (L) walks to his seat after his speech during the Digital India and Digital Technology dinner function in San Jose on Saturday

Modi logs in to Silicon Valley, gets tech chiefs to endorse ‘Digital India’

San Jose: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday left the tech world charmed at its very epicentre in Silicon Valley, securing an endorsement for his ambitions "Digital India" project from the chief executives of some of the world's top firms in the business like Apple,

Qualcomm, Google and Microsoft. The best in Modi's fame as a digital-friendly leader came at the dinner hosted for tech leaders at the packed ball- room of Fairmont Hotel, when he spoke of the virtues he saw by the adoption of new technologies in governance -- and even everyday life.

A fiery and forceful orator, Modi delivered a speech that was full of quotable quotes. "If there was ever a gathering under one roof that could claim to be shaping the world, it is this," Modi said to an audience that in- cluded Apple chief executive Tim Cook, Microsoft's Satya Nadella,

Google's Sundar Pichai, Qual- comm's Paul Jacobs, Cisco's John Chambers, Adobe's Shantanu Narayen and TiE's Venk Shukla. "The status that now matters is not whether you are awake or asleep, but whether you are online or offline.

The most fundamental debate for our youth is the choice between Android, iOS or Win- dows," the Prime Minister, himself an avid user of social media, said amid loud cheer.

None of his energy was lost at the final function of the day, after landing here in the late morning from New York -- the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the US West Coast since Indira Gandhi did in Los Angeles in 1982.

After exchanging pleasantries with the members of the Indian Diaspora, upon landing at the Norman Y Minte San Jose International Airport to a red carpet welcome, Modi immediately left for Tesla Motors' facility in Palo Alto for a tour of the company's trend-setting electric car plant.

He then met a host of tech leaders, before proceeding for the Digital India dinner. Earlier, a host of tech leaders said they were upbeat on engaging with India better. "India under the prime minister's leadership is moving in the right direction with 'Digital India',"

Qualcomm's Jacobs said, announcing a further investment of $150 million to fund Indian start-ups in areas from mobile to internet. The chip-maker already has invested in some dozen Indian firms. Nadella appeared equally gung ho on India.

"Now it is time for us to collectively empower people from all over the world," Nadella said, adding Microsoft intended to partner individual states and tech companies in this regard.

He said in Surat, the company was working with municipalities on data analytic systems. Google's Pichai had a take on another of Modi's initiatives "Startup India" that intends to foster, nurse and promote entrepreneurship.

"India is the fastest growing 'start-up nation' in the world," the Google chief executive said. But they best, however, came from Modi himself,

who spoke of how he and India have used technology, gained from it and intended to deploy it for the future -- and, more importantly, how he saw it as a key tool to empower people and make the lives of citizens better.

"I see technology as a means to empower and as a tool that bridges the distance between hope and opportunity," he said. "

In this digital age, we have an opportunity to transform lives of people in ways that was hard to imagine just a couple of decades ago," he said.

To know more about Fairmont, please visit www.fairmont.com/san-jose

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