Technology can help India leapfrog into inclusive growth: Bill Gates
(Sourced from PTI)
The use of technology coupled with bold decisions can help India leapfrog into inclusive growth and improve the quality of health and education, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has said. Appreciating Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Digital India" campaign along with the socio-economic reforms, Gates said that digitization can help monitor quality and eventually help the education system. Here are more details.
The idea is "if you take care of their health, including nutrition and you improve the education system then the promise for India is really unbelievable," Bill Gates said. "Absolutely yes," Gates said when asked if digitization and modern technologies would help the country achieve the goals of an ideal society as being articulated by top Indian leaders post-independence.
"The idea of growing up is having very high survival rates, growing up without malnutrition, giving birth without the mother's life being at risk," Bill Gates said. "The next 20 to 25 years India will make a lot of progress on these things," said Gates, who now is involved in major philanthropic activities globally as head of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Bill Gates said by driving innovation and better measurement one could actually accelerate the process of growth. "I do think that for a lot of these issues, India is very much on the cutting edge. For a lot of things, we do, we work with partners in India and the ones that are most successful are Aadhaar linked things related things," Gates said.
Referring to India's demographic profile, Gates described it as a young country. "Certainly, some of the things PM Modi is taken on as priorities, like financial inclusion, improvements in sanitation, improving the vaccine system and adding new vaccines. I think that's really good," Gates said. Gates said he has had some interactions with Modi, even independent of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Gates, while responding to a question, said that a critical mass of digital accounts at the time of demonetization would have made things easier for Indians in the immediate aftermath of demonetization. "The idea that over time a lot of financial transactions will be done digitally instead of using hard currency, I think that's a good trend, both for efficiency and visibility," he said.