A discussion the Microsoft founder Bill Gates with the IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasadand Minister of States S P P Chaudhary in New Delhi, on 17th November 2016
Expressing his willingness to work with the Indian Government, on different issues, including e-payments, digital health, digital literacy and e-agriculture in India, Bill Gates, the US business magnate, philanthropist and Microsoft founder in a meeting with the Government Ministers, wants the Cyber Securities, Social issues, to be addressed by partnering with the Indian government on a number of initiatives. The meeting, which lasted for over 45 minutes, was attended by senior officers of the IT ministry as well as members of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
It was learnt that Gates was interested in doing e-paymentsbusiness in India and showed interest in streamlining the digital payments system for economically weaker sections in India. Industry experts expressed Microsoft was anyway providing back-end support to a number of payments bank in India, which are set to launch in the next few months. The ministry has requested the foundation to be part of the digitising process.
Reviewing the Digital India programme, Gates in the post meeting informed that the Foundation is keen on working in various areas along with the government. He added that he was excited with the views expressed and felt that some of these digital platform opportunities are really quite amazing. Further, he was happy to note that the Government has invested manpower and the payments banks and payment infrastructure which now required a further take off. He wished that we should now work on health issues, health applications. He assured that his Foundation is committed to working on those areas in association with the Indian Government.
Gates also discussed issues around cyber security. Microsoft has already set up a cyber security engagement centre (CSEC) in the Delhi-NCR region that helps to respond to cyber threats in the country. It was learnt further that Gates wants to increase collaboration with the Indian government on these issues. Specific to health in India, Gates went on to say that there is a question of having a health record, what it looks like and how one can ensure it is standardised and kept private. He felt that there is a lot of experiences around the world and with great efficiency, having a health record will be important. Gates is interested to be a partner in the digital village scheme, where the government has identified 1,000 villages for digital education. Further he said that the foundation wants to work with start-ups, which can build applications and value added services for Aadhaar and UPI. The ministry would identify such start-ups and refer them to the Foundation.
On conclusion Bill Gates expressed his satisfaction over the meeting, which was over all appreciated by the Ministry officials.