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Bill Gates meets PM, talks India visit

Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, discussed at length the ‘innovative work’ in health, climate change, and other crucial areas. Writing for his official blog, Bill Gates stated, “at a time when the world has so many challenges, it’s inspiring to visit a dynamic and creative place like India.”

Referring to his meeting with PM Narendra Modi, Bill Gates said, “A highlight of my trip was Friday’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was generous with his time, as we talked about how science and innovation can help reduce inequities in India and around the world.”

“Although I didn’t travel much over the past three years because of the pandemic, Prime Minister Modi and I have stayed in touch, especially about developing Covid-19 vaccines and investing in India’s health systems,” Gates said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took to Twitter on Saturday and said he was delighted to meet Bill Gates and have extensive discussions on key issues.

Bill Gates commended the progress India is making in fields like health, development and climate and said the country is showing what is possible when investment is made in innovation.

“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 said.

“In addition to 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. They created an open-source platform called Co-WIN, which allowed people to schedule billions of vaccine appointments and deliver digital certifications for those who were vaccinated. This platform is now being expanded to support India’s universal immunization program. Prime Minister Modi believes that Co-WIN is a model for the world, and I agree,” Bill Gates wrote in his blog.

He noted that India transferred emergency digital payments to 300 million people, including 200 million women, during the pandemic.

Praising the Gati Shakti programme, Gates said it is 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.

Gates said he discussed with Modi India’s G20 presidency this year and added that it’s an excellent opportunity to highlight how innovations developed in the country can benefit the world, and to help other countries adopt them.

“I commended the Prime Minister on India’s efforts to eliminate deadly and debilitating diseases like tuberculosis, visceral leishmaniasis, and lymphatic filariasis. He told me about a fascinating movement taking shape in India: Communities are “adopting” TB patients to make sure they get the nutrition and care they need. India has used a similar approach with HIV, and it’s been shown to produce lasting results,” Bill Gates stated.

“Finally, the Prime Minister and I talked about climate change. We’ve been working together on climate for years—India is a key partner in Mission Innovation, the program launched in 2015 to accelerate work on clean energy technologies. I’m looking forward to getting together with the MI partners during the COP28 Summit this December to accelerate the development of new sources of affordable, reliable clean energy,” Bill Gates noted. IndiaToday

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