More Optimistic Than Ever About India

'More Optimistic Than Ever About India': Bill Gates After Meet With PM

Bill Gates met PM Modi on Friday.

New Delhi:

Bill Gates and Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the “innovative work” in India in health sector, climate change, India’s G20 presidency and other crucial issues when they met on Friday, the Microsoft co-founder said in his official blog.

Sharing the “highlight” on GatesNotes – Mr Gates’s official blog, the billionaire philanthropist praised India for its “amazing ability to manufacture lots of safe, effective, and affordable vaccines, some of them supported by the Gates Foundation” and said these vaccines saved millions of lives during the COVID-19 pandemic and prevented other diseases around the world.

Besides producing new lifesaving tools, India also excels at delivering them – its public health system has delivered more than 2.2 billion doses of COVID vaccines through an open-source platform in Co-WIN, which allowed people to schedule billions of vaccine appointments and delivered digital certifications for those who were vaccinated, Mr Gates said in the write-up.

“Prime Minister Modi believes that Co-WIN is a model for the world, and I agree,” Mr G ates, who is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, added.

The Microsoft co-founder also praised India for embracing digital payments during the pandemic. At least 300 million people, including 200 million women, received emergency digital payments, he said.

“This was only possible because India has made financial inclusion a priority, investing in a digital ID system (called Aadhaar) and creating innovative platforms for digital banking. It’s a reminder that financial inclusion is a fantastic investment,” he said.

Mr Gates also praised the Gati Shakti programme as a “great example of how digital technology can help governments work better”. “It digitally connects 16 ministries, including rail and roads, so they can integrate their plans for infrastructure projects and accelerate the work of Indian scientists and engineers,” he noted.

Mr Gates said India’s G20 presidency is an excellent opportunity to highlight how innovations developed in the country can benefit the world, and to help other countries adopt them.

Supporting these efforts — especially spreading its digital ID and payments systems to other places — is a high priority for the foundation, he said.

Concluding the blog, Mr Gates said that he felt “more optimistic than ever about the progress that India is making in health, development, and climate”. The country is showing what’s possible when we invest in innovation. I hope India will continue this progress and share its innovations with the world,” he said.

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