Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates on Friday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed at length the ‘innovative work’ in health, climate change, and other crucial areas, stated Gates Notes the official blog of the Microsoft co-founder.
On India’s G20 presidency, Gates said ir was an opportunity to highlight how innovations developed in India can benefit the world, and help other countries adopt them.
Invoking the pandemic, Gates, in his official blog, said he has been in touch with PM Modi for developing Covid-19 vaccines and “investing in India’s health systems”.
“India has an amazing ability to manufacture lots of safe, effective, and affordable vaccines, some of them supported by the Gates Foundation. Vaccines produced in India have saved millions of lives during the pandemic and prevented other diseases around the world,” Gates posted in his blog.
While saying that India excels at both creating and distributing new, life-saving technologies, Gates noted that the public health system in the country has distributed more than 2.2 billion doses of Covid vaccines.
“They developed Co-WIN, an open-source platform that provided digital certifications for those who have received vaccinations while enabling the scheduling of billions of vaccine appointments,” Gates noted further in his blog.
Lauding the work done by India under the leadership of PM Modi “while the world had been grappling with the pandemic’, Gates said the country was able to send emergency digital payments to 300 million people, including 200 million women. “This was only feasible because India prioritised financial inclusion, spending money on a biometric ID system (named Aadhaar), and developing cutting-edge digital banking platforms,” he noted.
Also highlighting the country’s ‘Gati Shakti’ programme, Gates Notes mentioned that it was 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,” the blog post read.
Gates further commended PM Modi’s efforts to eliminate “deadly and debilitating diseases” like tuberculosis, visceral leishmaniasis, and lymphatic filariasis.
It also lauded the country’s initiative to promote universal foundational literacy and numeracy across the country.
The Microsoft co-founder also touched upon ‘Mission Innovation’ launched in 2015 where India is the key partner and works to accelerate work on clean energy technologies.
“I had visited the India Council of Agricultural Research in Pusa, where I learned about efforts to help farmers adapt to a warmer climate, including by planting new varieties of wheat and chickpeas that can tolerate droughts,” the Microsoft co-founded wrote further in his blog.
He added that the country was “making progress in health, development, climate and showing what’s possible when we invest in innovation”.