New Delhi : While “net neutrality” and its ensuing debate kept Indian policymakers and the social media busy for most part of the year, what took the country to the centre stage was a statement from social networking giant Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg that if the world needs to be connected then it is very important to connect the billion-plus people in India.

Facebook rechristened its free internet platform internet.org — which it developed in conjunction with Reliance Communications Network — as “Free Basics by Facebook” in September. Today, nearly 15 million people in 24 nations have access to internet as a result of Facebook’s free internet efforts.

Although India has no regulations yet on “net neutrality” a draft report on this from the department of telecommunications (DoT) is with the government for clearance.  Amid the debate, Satya Nadella, the Indian-born chief executive of US-based technology major Microsoft, visited India in November and announced a string of partnerships, programmes and products to help Indian organisations and governments explore unchartered business areas and enrich customer and citizen experiences. Just a month back in San Francisco, top Oracle executive Thomas Kurian announced that the leading cloud services provider fully supports the latest digital initiatives launched by the Indian government.

When it came to wearable technology in India, the year saw some tough competition to the leader Apple. While Apple smartwatch was finally launched in India this year, at around Rs.30,000, it still burnt a hole in people’s pocket. Later this year, Lenovo-owned Motorola introduced five new variants of its android wear Moto 360 (2nd Gen) collection for the Indian consumers.

Next tech trend that took the country by storm this year was the launch of “Mobile Wallet” or “credit card killer” as some referred it to. Although still in a nascent stage, the concept of “Mobile Wallet” took rapidly on the psyche of the Indian consumers – making it one of the most lucrative start-up avenue this year.

While drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) took to new skies the world over this year — not just for delivering pizzas but to perform some key tasks from the battlefield to assessing climate change – India too appeared ready to utilise the technology.

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