As G20 President, India Has Opportunity To Highlight Aadhaar, Digital Finance; Impact Can Be Global: Gates


Edited By: Mohammad Haris

Last Updated: March 01, 2023, 10:49 IST

Billionaire-philanthropist Bill Gates said that with G20 presidency, India has an opportunity to highlight things like the Aadhaar system and digital finance, and the impact of India example can be global. On the pandemic, he said there is a need to develop early-warning systems “on an ongoing basis” to detect new virus, apart from faster diagnostics and vaccine production.

In an interview with Times of India, Gates said, “COVID-19 was a tragedy, and countries around the world are still working on bringing the economy back. Some of the health indicators, like the vaccination rates, actually did recover pretty quickly… Parents are getting their kids out and getting these lifesaving vaccines, Your economy, actually, is one of the bright spots in the world.”

He added that India is suffering less of the inflationary pressures. Though India is not completely immune to it, but it is way less acute than in many other parts of the world, including Europe and in the US right now.

“You government has ambitious goals. We want to work with the government to get rid of lymphatic filariasis, visceral leishmaniasis, and to really start on getting the TB burden down pretty substantially. The health statistics are more than a glass half-full, but there’s still plenty of work to do,” Gates told TOI.

On India’s G20 Presidency, he said India has a special affiliation with the non-rich countries. “Our foundation is very enthused to support India and get a very strong message out. I think it will be across the board in many areas, the digital public goods will be the story that comes through most dramatically.”

On the pandemic, he said the vaccine coverage rates in India that were achieved are some of the best in the world. Globally, Gates said, he is not satisfied that the world is ready for the next pandemic. “We have a lot of tools to invent, we should be able to make diagnostics faster, make vaccines faster, make drugs faster.”

“The world has much to do on practice and surveillance. Sadly, the next pandemic could be far more fatal… this one killed over 20 million, mostly older people. You can have a pandemic that would kill hundreds of millions,” Gates, who is in India to get a sense of the country’s recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, said.

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