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Big Tech Is Importing India’s Caste Legacy to Silicon Valley

March 11, 2021, 9:00 PM

On a sunny day in early 2017, Sundar Pichai, Alphabet Inc.’s chief executive officer, returned to his alma mater, the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, in West Bengal, to speak before 3,500 students. Welcomed as the “rock star” leader of the “world’s most innovative company,” he reminisced about skipping classes and meeting his college girlfriend—now his wife. He also pitched Google to the soon-to-be-graduates in attendance. How many wanted to work there, the interviewer asked. Hundreds of hands went up. “Wow, maybe we should open a campus in Kharagpur,” Pichai joked.

As far as feeder schools go, it doesn’t ...