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Mark Zuckerberg to visit India, will engage in townhall Q&A

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO, Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO, Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg is coming to India exactly a month after hosting Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Facebook’s global headquarters in California.

The Facebook founder and CEO will hold a townhall Q&A session in Delhi on October 28 to connect with the social media network’s Indian users, Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post today.

“More than 130 million people use Facebook in India. I’m looking forward to hearing directly from one of our most active and engaged communities,” he added.

The townhall Q&A will be held at 12PM IST on October 28.

“I’ll be answering questions from across Facebook as well as from a live audience at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi,” he said in the post.

On September 27, Modi visited Facebook headquarters in California for a town hall interaction with Zuckerberg. The San Francisco event was webcast live on the Facebook profiles of both Modi and Zuckerberg.

Among other things, Modi talked about how social media helps governments take corrective steps if wrong decisions are taken. He also championed the Digital India initiative which was promptly supported by Zuckerberg.

On his part, Zuckerberg talked about India’s importance in Facebook’s overall scheme of things. “India is personally very important to the history of our company here. This is a story that I have not told publicly and very few people know,” he added. India has the largest Facebook user base outside the US.

The upcoming visit would be Zuzkerberg’s second visit to India after Modi became the prime minister. Last year, he had visited a ‘cyber village’ in Rajasthan’s Alwar district.

India is one of the key target markets for Facebook’s Internet.org programme, which enables access of selected apps and app-based services to people from developing countries at zero cost. The Internet.org programme, which counts Reliance Communications as partner in India, has been criticised heavily for violating the principle of net neutrality.

In order to counter this, Facebook tweaked the initiative and rebranded it as Free Basics last month. The platform was opened for any app developer who wished to include his/her services on it.

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