Rahul Gandhi in US, second foreign trip in a matter of 20 days

New Delhi: Amid preparations for state assembly elections to Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi has gone to the US, his second foreign trip in last 20 days.

Rahul Gandhi will start his two-week trip with an address to the University of California, Berkeley, today, on contemporary India and the path forward for the world’s largest democracy. To begin with, his office, while releasing details of his visit last week, had suggested that he will visit Silicon Valley to interact with 19 firms involved in developing artificial intelligence — the future technology.

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After he was ridiculed in social media for going to the US to learn about artificial intelligence, organiser of his trip, telecom expert Sam Pitroda said the visit doesn’t involve any programme of him talking about artificial intelligence. Pitroda said the Congress vice-president has a series of programmes that involved meeting politicians, oversees Indians and addressing students and academicians.

“The purpose of the visit is two-fold. One is to meet interesting and global thinkers, to have a conversation on what is happening world over on economy, on technology, on opportunities, and really understand different views from experts on the global scene,” technocrat Sam Pitroda, was quoted by agencies.

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It is worthwhile pointing out that Pitroda worked with Gandhi’s father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi for nearly a decade to transform India’s telecom sector. He said Rahul Gandhi will meet overseas Indians at an event in New York as part of an outreach by the Congress party. “Gandhi may meet some members of the ruling Republican Party. “A lot of these meetings are going to be small and private,” Pitroda said. “He wants to understand more about what’s happening globally and what’s the global view of the situation is,” he said.

“Today, the view of India is one short of protected by one group of people. We need to really talk about Indian aspirations, Indian concerns about what is going on not just in India but the world over. Rise of populism is one topic I am sure will come up in the conversation,” Pitroda said.

He admitted that Gandhi would interact with Silicon Valley companies, where the technology, talent and Indian ‘brain power’ is concentrated. “So, the idea is if you were to meet a lot of Silicon Valley people, it is better to talk about things in San Francisco.” Taking to Twitter, Pitroda said, “I have seen news in media that Rahul Gandhi is coming to the US to give a talk on Artificial Intelligence. This is FALSE information.” He further said that he doesn’t know who is behind the false rumour, but, seems like the news has gone viral.

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