Bill Gates gives Aadhaar card in India a big thumbs up
India’s Aadhaar technology does not pose any privacy issue and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has funded the World Bank to take this approach to other countries as it is worth emulating, Microsoft founder Bill Gates has said.
India’s Aadhaar technology does not pose any privacy issue and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has funded the World Bank to take this approach to other countries as it is worth emulating, Microsoft founder Bill Gates has said. The 62-year-old multi-billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist said Nandan Nilekani, Infosys co-founder who is considered as the chief architect of Aadhaar, was consulting and helping the World Bank on the project. “The benefits of that are very high,” he said, adding, “Yes, countries should adopt that approach because the quality of governance has a lot to do with how quickly countries are able to grow their economy and empower their people.”
It is believed that several countries have approached New Delhi for assistance in this matter. “Aadhaar in itself doesn’t pose any privacy issue because it’s just a bio ID verification scheme,” Gates said when asked about the concerns about privacy issues raised by certain quarters in India. “The individual applications that use Aadhaar, you have to look and see what’s been stored and who has access to that information. And so, application by application, you have to make sure that’s well managed. In the case of the financial bank account I think it’s handled very well,” he said.
“(It uses) Aadhar to set up the accounts so that you can both get your cell and get your bank account,” he added. Observing that Aadhaar was started before PM Narendra Modi came into office, Gates said it was to his credit that he was willing to embrace it.
“I’m an admirer of Nilekani and the initiatives of digitisation efforts that can help with governance,” he said.