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‘It’s inspiring’: Gates meets PM, praises India’s progress in different sectors

Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his trip to India and praised India on the country’s progress in different sectors. Bill Gates also commended the progress India has made in different sectors such as health, development and climate, saying the development shows what is possible when the investment is made in innovation.

Praising India for its “amazing ability to manufacture lots of safe, effective, and affordable vaccines, some of them supported by the Gates Foundation”, Bill Gates said they saved millions of lives when the Covid-19 pandemic was surging across the world and prevented other diseases.

After Bill Gates met PM Modi, the latter tweeted: “Delighted to meet Bill Gates and have extensive discussions on key issues. His humility and passion to create a better as well as more sustainable planet are clearly visible.”

Bill Gates said, “At a time when the world has so many challenges, it’s inspiring to visit a dynamic and creative place like India.”

Bill Gates also said that even though he didn’t travel much due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the philanthropist said he was in touch with PM Modi for the Covid vaccines and possible investments in India.

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 — Gates said, adding that it created 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.

“Prime Minister Modi believes that Co-WIN is a model for the world, and I agree,” he said.

Noting that India transferred emergency digital payments to 300 million people during pandemic, Bill Gates 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.”

Bill 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.

“My conversation with the Prime Minister left me 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.

(With agency inputs)

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