New Delhi, Mar 4: Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates said that his conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi left him "more optimistic than ever" about the progress that India is making in health, development, and climate.
In his 'dispatch' notes, Gates said "I've been in India this week, learning about the innovative work going on there in health, climate change, and other crucial areas. At a time when the world has so many challenges, it's inspiring to visit a dynamic and creative place like India."
Prime Minister Modi met Gates on Friday in New Delhi.
In response to a tweet by Gates, where he shared his 'note' on his recent visit to India, the Prime Minister on Saturday tweeted, "Delighted to meet @BillGates and have extensive discussions on key issues. His humility and passion to create a better as well as more sustainable planet are clearly visible."
Terming his meeting with the Prime Minister the highlight of his visit, the Microsoft Co-founder said: "Prime Minister Modi and I have stayed in touch, especially about developing Covid-19 vaccines and investing in India's health systems. 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."
He dwelled on India's handling of the pandemic and said that "in addition to producing new life saving 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 delivered digital certifications for those who were vaccinated. This platform is now being expanded to support India's universal immunisation programme. Prime Minister Modi believes that Co-WIN is a model for the world, and I agree."
Gates, who is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, praised India's stride in digital payments and said: "India was also able to transfer emergency digital payments to 300 million people, including 200 million women, during the pandemic. 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."
Gates' dispatch also talked about India's achievements such as PM Gatishakti Masterplan, G20 presidency, education, innovation, fighting diseases and push to Millets.
"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," Gates concluded.