Aadhaar Not Intrusive, Indian Education Disappointing: Bill Gates

Bill Gates also spoke about need to build clean toilets, new elephantiasis cure, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Published
India
3 min read
File photo of Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
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Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who is on a visit to India, said that he did not think that Aadhaar by “itself intruded on privacy”. He called the instrument a “12-digit lie detector”, and that privacy issues may arise from the applications built on it, but not from the primary records that Aadhaar holds, reported Times of India.

Gates, who now dons the hat of a philanthropist, spoke to the newspaper on various issues, including the need to build cleaner toilets, the new elephantiasis cure, his disappointment in the Indian education system, and his current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

While he was of the opinion that there should be right to privacy, he said he did not think that Aadhaar was an “intrusion on privacy”. He said that privacy issues may arise from the applications built on Aadhaar, but not from the system itself.

Gates added that he would “often” tell Nandan Nilenkani, who is the architect of UIDAI, that he would have “many more inbuilt capabilities” in Aadhaar.

Aadhaar Not Intrusive, Indian Education Disappointing: Bill Gates
Aadhaar Not Intrusive, Indian Education Disappointing: Bill Gates

The billionaire who had showered praises on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the execution of the Swachh Bharat mission, earlier in April, said that the first step for the policy programme was to aim for a “behavioural change”.

The first stage is behaviour change. In some parts of India, it’s worked really well, in some parts, not as well. Once a village passes the view that nobody should be doing this (open defecation), then it tends to stay. The nice thing is that if you intervene for just a few years, then sometimes it becomes the expectation.
Bill Gates to Times of India
Aadhaar Not Intrusive, Indian Education Disappointing: Bill Gates
Aadhaar Not Intrusive, Indian Education Disappointing: Bill Gates

He said that five years from now, there will be a new toilet that will “burn the waste in the toilet”.

Gates, whose foundation is closely associated with eradicating elephantiasis, said that India was one of the first places that has been introduced to the triple-drug therapy. The drug has reportedly shown to reduce microfilariae by 99% with the first dose itself, the former Microsoft boss said.

Aadhaar Not Intrusive, Indian Education Disappointing: Bill Gates

When asked about how India was currently faring, Gates pointed out at the Indian education system and said it needs improvement. While he added that he did not want to sound critical, he said that he wanted to create “higher expectations” about it.

Aadhaar Not Intrusive, Indian Education Disappointing: Bill Gates

He also praised Indian-origin Satya Nadella, who took over as Microsoft’s CEO in 2014, saying Nadella was “very thoughtful and good at working with people”.

Aadhaar Not Intrusive, Indian Education Disappointing: Bill Gates

Gates was scheduled to meet Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his visit.

(With inputs from Times of India)

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