Bill Gates, co-founder of American technology giant Microsoft is keen to partner with the Indian government for technology driven social projects such as e-health, e-agriculture and e-payment. Gates, who met union minister for communications and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad in the capital on Thursday has also also evinced interest in partnering with start-ups that can provide these services to the bottom of the pyramid.
“Its very exciting times in India and some of these digital platform opportunities are quite amazing. The government has invested in manpower, it has invested in payment banks, and the payment infrastructure, so now is the case for building the applications on top of those, we need to work on the health issue, agriculture applications, etc,” said Gates after his meeting with Prasad.
He added that his foundation is very committed to working on some of these areas and their relationship with the ministry of electronics and IT will be a very critical task.
Prasad said that Gates knows India very well and is committed to partnering with the government. “I disclosed to him the entire architecture of Aadhaar, Aadhaar enabled payments that we have created, we also looked into digital health, and also gave him the whole outline of Digital India,” said Prasad.
On Wednesday, Gates, who is the co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, hailed government’s move to demonetise high-value denomination notes saying it will help to move from shadow to a more transparent economy. Speaking at the second lecture series of Niti Aayog on transforming India, he called the move “bold” and said, “Digital transactions will rise dramatically here. In next several years India will become the most digitised economy, not just by size but by percentages. A more concerted shift to digital transactions will further enhance transparency and reduce leakage. India has all the pieces in place for a compelling vision for digital financial inclusion