New Delhi, Nov 17: Philanthropist and co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation Bill Gates on Thursday said that his biggest disappointment, when it comes to India, is the country’s educational system. Responding to anything specific factors holding India back, Bill Gates said that most of the trends have been positive but the educational system is the biggest drawback which is holding the country behind. “It should be far better. I don’t want to be critical, but I do want to create higher expectations about it,” TOI reported Bill Gates as saying.Also Read - Rajnath Singh Writes to Bengal, Tamil Nadu CMs Over Exclusion of Tableaux From Republic Day Parade
On being asked if Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would consider expanding beyond health into education, the Microsoft co-founder responded that most of India’s own philanthropist have chosen education as a high priority. “I am very glad about it,” he said. He also added that the Gates Foundation “cannot do everything”. Also Read - Bihar CM Nitish Kumar Tests Positive For COVID-19, Isolated Himself At Home
On Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, Gates said that building toilets is like opening a savings account. “The real challenge is getting people to use them. Part of our Swachh Bharat partnership with the government is to try and make sure that the toilets that are built are not so bad that you’d rather not use them. The first stage is behaviour change,” Gates added. Also Read - Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Tests Positive For COVID-19, in Home Quarantine
He also said that the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan worked well in some parts of India and didn’t, in some parts. “Once a village passes the view that nobody should be doing this (open defecation), then it tends to stay…if you intervene for just a few years then sometimes it becomes the expectation…that’s behaviour change,” he said.
Bill Gates on Thursday met Union home minister Rajnath Singh and discussed various welfare initiatives taken up by American philanthropists in India. Rajnath Singh also urged Gates to initiate new technologies in agriculture and sanitation and develop Indian villages into ‘model villages’. The union minister, according to the reports, also asked the philanthropist to adopt 1,000 Maoist-hit villages.
The meeting also focused on the progress made across the “foundation’s priority focus areas such as health, urban sanitation, digital financial inclusion and agricultural development”. A Gates Foundation spokesperson said that the Gates Foundation is “committed to working collaboratively with the Government of India in providing global and local technical expertise to advance the country’s ambitious development goals.”