Multi-billionaire Bill Gates on Thursday said his non-profit organisation Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation would like to work closely with the Indian government on various services under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) including cyber security.
“It’s a very exciting time in India and some of these digital platform opportunities are really quite amazing. The government has invested manpower and the payments banks and payment infrastructure. It is now a case of building the applications on top of those. We need to work on health issues/ health applications. Our Foundation is committed in working on those areas – relationship with this Ministry will be very critical for us,” Gates told reporters after meeting Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of MeitY.
On health sector, Gates added having a health record is important and how can one ensure it is standardised and kept private. “There is a lot experiences around the world and with great efficiency, having a health record will be important,” he said.
According to sources privy to the meeting, Gates also showed interest in getting into the payments bank application in India as 'he wants to streamline the digital payments system for economically weaker sections in India'. Microsoft is anyway providing back-end support to a number of payment banks in India, which are set to launch in the next few months, including the India Post payment bank.
“We had a very profitable meeting. Bill Gates is a true friend of India. He is working enormously in India through his Bill & Melinda Foundation. It was exciting to hear his deep interest for digital payments in India and also digital health. I disclosed to him the entire nature of Aadhar enabled payments on other platforms, and also digital health. And, also gave him an outline of entire Digital India programme,” Prasad said.