Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on November 18 had a meeting with Mr. Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, during the latter’s three-day visit to India. The two had last met in September in New York, on the sidelines of the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly.
Mr. Bill Gates reinforced his Foundation’s commitment to supporting the Government of India, in its efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), with a particular focus on health, nutrition, sanitation and agriculture.
Mr Gates commended the Prime Minister on prioritizing nutrition as a key focus area, and the efforts being made under the National Nutrition Mission.
He also presented new ideas that can help enhance agricultural productivity and systems performance, with a particular focus on improving access, to enable the upliftment of the poor and the marginalized.
The Prime Minister appreciated the Foundation’s efforts and highlighted how the government values the expertise and responsiveness demonstrated by the Foundation. He suggested that data and evidence-based thoughtful interventions and support by development partners can help accelerate the work in the sectors of health, nutrition, agriculture and green energy. Mr. Bill Gates was joined by the key members of his India leadership team.
India has potential for ‘very rapid economic growth’, says Bill Gates
India has the potential for “very rapid economic growth” over the next decade which will lift people out of poverty and allow the government to invest in health and education priorities in an “exciting way”, billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said during his visit to India to review the work of his foundation in the country.
Interacting with media, Gates specifically complimented India’s Aadhaar identity system and the country’s performance in the financial services and Pharma sectors. “…Everybody hopes that there’s really good growth because the potential is certainly there for India to have high growth,” he said.
“Well, in all of our areas, India’s been a key place where we find innovators and financial services. It’s fantastic the way that the Aadhaar identity system and the overall UPI system is gaining adoption, and there’s some great lessons out of that work,” he said. “We partner with people like Nandan Nilekani to think, okay, how do the lessons from India apply to other countries for things like digital identity or financial services,” he said.
“When people think of India, they think of the IT services and the great work done there. Less visible but certainly very impactful for improving the human condition is the great work done by the vaccine manufacturers, whether it’s Serum, who’s the largest, but a dozen others – Bharat Biotech, Bio-E, a number of companies,” he said.