Delhi: Exactly after a month Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters, Facebook CEO will be holding a town hall Q&A at the Indian Institute of Technology(IIT) Delhi today.
Zuckerberg will address the students and the faculty of IIT Delhi and is expected to converse for about 15 minutes before he would start answering questions from the audience for about an hour.
According to a report, one in every nine IIT students selected through a lottery will get entry to the hall, which has a seating capacity of 1,110. Facebook received over 3,500 applications through a link posted to the IIT website.
The next Townhall Q&A with Mark will be in Delhi, India, on Wednesday, October 28 at 12pm IST.
India is Facebook’s largest market, with over 130 million users outside the United States. For more than a year, Facebook has been trying to push its free package of basic internet services called Free Basics (formerly Internet.org) in the country, billing it as an initiative to bring internet access to people in developing countries who can’t afford to pay for data.
The package, which includes news articles, job listings, health information, and a stripped-down, text-only version of Facebook, has been criticized by activists in India for breaking net neutrality principles by splitting the internet into paid and free tiers. In May, major partners like NDTV and Clear-trip pulled out of Facebook’s programme, stating that they believed it violated net neutrality.
Against this backdrop, Zuckerberg’s visit to India is significant, and some say a sign of desperation.