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India PM makes rock star appearance at Facebook

Standing side-by-side with Mark Zuckerberg, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a rock star appearance at Facebook on Sunday, advocating for the political power of social media.

An invitation-only audience jumped to its feet, cheering and snapping photos as Modi strode into a sun-splashed courtyard with Zuckerberg - sporting a jacket and tie for the occasion, in a sartorial about-face for the typically casual campus.

"To leaders all over the world; you are not going to gain by running away from social media," said the tech-savvy premier during a town hall-style question and answer session.

"The strength of social media today is that it can tell governments where they are going wrong and give them an opportunity to do a course correction."

"You will gain from joining it. You need real time information," said the 65-year-old Modi, who has 30 million fans on Facebook and tweets multiple times a day.

Modi's stop at Facebook was part of a tour of Silicon Valley, ahead of the UN General Assembly where he will meet US President Barack Obama on Monday.

Late Sunday, he was later to star at an event attended by some 18,000 people in a convention center in the city of San Jose in Silicon Valley.

It is the first time since 1982 that a prime minister of India has visited the West Coast of the United States.

Modi also visited Google's main campus in nearby Mountain View, where he and Google announced a collaboration to provide wireless Internet at railway stations in India, with a goal of connecting 500 by the end of next year.

"Just like I did years ago, thousands of young Indians walk through Chennai Central every day, eager to learn, to explore and to seek opportunity," India-born Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said in a blog post.

"It's my hope that this Wi-Fi project will make all these things a little easier."

Nearly one billion people in India don't have access to the Internet, according to Pichai

Source: KhaleejTimes