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In an interaction with Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said health, education, technology are the main pillars for digital governance.

“Delighted to meet @BillGates and have extensive discussions on key issues. His humility and passion to create a better as well as more sustainable planet are clearly visible,” Modi said on social media platform X.

Talking about digital governance, artificial intelligence, and deep fakes, he said, “When I heard about the digital divide in the world, I used to say that I will not let anything like that happen in my country. Digital public infrastructure is a big requirement.”

Highlighting the importance of education, he said, “I want to bring the best education to our children. The shortcomings of teachers will be compensated with technology. If a child’s interest lies in visuals, in storytelling, we are developing content in that direction. I have conducted some surveys, and I have seen, children are really enjoying it,” he added.

In this free-wheeling chat, Modi spoke at length on how India has democratised technology, embracing the power of the digital world for improving lives. He exuded confidence that the country will take remarkable strides in the fourth industrial revolution, which will be focused on digital improvement. Modi also explained that a powerful technology like AI can be dangerous in the hands of unskilled, untrained people. It holds a significant risk of misuse. He advocated the need for clear ‘dos and don’ts’ and use of watermarks on AI-generated content to curb misinformation and deepfake-related risks.

Speaking about the success of the Covid-19 vaccination drive, PM Modi said the government will now work on cervical cancer vaccination. “I plan to allocate funds to scientists for cervical cancer research in this budget. My goal is to vaccinate all girl children at minimal costs, ensuring they are protected from cancer. When we form the new government, I will firstly invest money for the research,” he said. Bill Gates appreciated India’s role in fostering collaboration between the global south during last year’s G20 meeting.

Modi also appreciated the philanthropists efforts to embrace Indian culture. “The ‘Statue of Unity’ honours the vision of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel while its construction imbibes India’s spirit of Unity. Glad that @BillGates visited it,” Modi added on X.

The Prime Minister presented a ‘vocal for local’ gift hamper to Bill Gates which included pearls and terracotta statues – a work of art representing India’s vibrant culture from Tamil Nadu. The gift hamper also contained Pashmina Shawl and saffron from Kashmir, Darjeeling tea and Nilgiri tea.

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