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”A Key Country”: Bill Gates Affirms India’s Role In Global Progress

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''A Key Country For Us'': Bill Gates Affirms India's Central Role In Global Progress

Mr Gates also expressed admiration for India’s vibrant culture and entrepreneurial spirit

New Delhi:

Billionaire and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates on Wednesday emphasised India’s pivotal role in his philanthropic endeavours and technological aspirations.

Mr Gates, speaking virtually from Seattle at the Times Now Summit, underscored India’s significance both in his past actions with Microsoft and in his current charitable efforts through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“India is a key country for us,” Mr Gates said while highlighting the profound impact the nation has had on his career trajectory and his philanthropic vision.

“It’s the country that we have the most on-the-ground activities and very deep partnership with many of the ministries at the union level and with several of the states, particularly UP, Bihar, and now India,” he said.

He also reiterated India’s pivotal position in the global landscape, emphasising the nation’s significance as a cornerstone for his foundation’s multifaceted initiatives.

The renowned philanthropist and tech visionary also reflected on his extensive engagement with India spanning over two decades, Mr Gates emphasised the nation’s exceptional talent pool, agility, and steadfast commitment to implementing cost-effective solutions with far-reaching impacts. With over 25,000 personnel employed by Microsoft in India, Gates lauded the country’s conducive environment for fostering innovation and scaling impactful interventions.

“In my first career at Microsoft, I had a great experience in India where over the last 25 years, Microsoft has built up a team. There are now over 25,000 people,” he noted.

In his capacity as the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr Gates elucidated on the foundation’s deep-rooted partnership with India, characterised by extensive on-the-ground activities and collaborative initiatives with governmental and private entities. Gates highlighted the foundation’s strategic approach of piloting projects in India before disseminating successful models to other developing nations, thereby leveraging India’s unique context to inform global interventions.

“Everything in the digital realm, pioneered with the identity system but now more and more digital public infrastructure. And it was fantastic that India used the big G20 meeting to introduce other countries to digital public infrastructure. And we’ve seen a lot of uptake. And so I sat down with the government. We talked about how we’re helping other countries get on the same path that India’s on,” he also said.

India’s economic growth trajectory also garnered Mr Gates’ attention, with the nation consistently maintaining robust growth rates. While acknowledging India’s strides in various sectors, Mr Gates underscored the imperative of sustained investments in healthcare and education to fortify the nation’s human capital and address existing disparities.

“India’s had pretty steady growth for some time. Obviously, there are countries to learn from that also had periods of very long growth, India will have to do things its own way,” he noted.

Mr Gates commended India’s democratic ethos, wherein politicians vie not only on ideological grounds but also on their commitment to addressing fundamental societal needs.

“India should be proud that it’s the world’s largest democracy and, you’re allowing lots of different voices to be heard. I’m sure there’ll be some degree of continuity and we’re a neutral organisation. But the idea that politicians compete less on who’s in their group and more on trying to lift everybody up, it’s great to see that in India you can have politicians saying,” Mr Gates said.

He refrained from endorsing any political faction, emphasising the importance of collaboration and consensus-building to uplift all segments of society.

Beyond philanthropy and technology, Mr Gates expressed admiration for India’s vibrant culture and entrepreneurial spirit, citing instances of immersive experiences during his visits, including interactions with government officials, students, and business leaders.

Mr Gates’ engagements spanned a spectrum of activities, from candid discussions on policy matters to attending high-profile events such as Mukesh Ambani’s daughter’s wedding, underscoring his deep-rooted affinity for India.

“I felt very lucky to be included. And the hospitality was the best ever,” he said.

Mr Gates also reflected on the foundation’s collaborations with Indian ministries, particularly in areas pertaining to women’s empowerment and childcare. He underscored the importance of uplifting women and addressing maternal health issues, leveraging digital platforms to promote nutrition and empower women across diverse socio-economic strata.

Looking ahead, Mr Gates expressed confidence in India’s trajectory, emphasising the nation’s potential to drive inclusive growth and serve as a beacon of democratic ideals on the global stage. As India navigates through the electoral process, Mr Gates reiterated his commitment to collaborating with elected representatives to advance shared goals and foster sustainable development.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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