Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will invest $1.2 million to improve internet connectivity in India and make the web increasingly available to those who have not been reached by previous efforts. Zuckerberg is initiating an “Innovation Challenge” contest that will reward four $250, 000 prizes to an app, service or idea that will reach four groups in Indian society: students, migrant workers, women and farmers, as reported by TheStreet.com. There will be two additional $25, 000 Impact Awards per category.
Of the Indian population that is not yet connected to the internet, 69% stated they did not know why they would find the internet useful. The purpose of the contest is to create solutions that will make the Indian public aware that the internet is relevant to their lives. “Connecting the world, we really believe, is one of the fundamental challenges of our generation, ” Mark Zuckerberg said in New Delhi at the first internet.org summit. “Progress is going to be difficult, and it’s not guaranteed, but I think if we can work together we can really make a big impact on knocking down some of the barriers to connectivity both here in India, and in the rest of the world.” Internet.org has enabled 3 million people connect to the internet through incentives and initiatives to increase awareness and connectivity.
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