Tech can play big role in agri, education, health: PM Modi in interaction with Bill Gates


PTI, Mar 29, 2024, 10:13 AM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday identified agriculture, education and health as three sectors where he believes technology can play a big role, and highlighted efforts of his government.

In an interaction with philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Modi said he used to hear of digital divide in the world and had decided that he will not allow this to happen in India.

He said he wants to allocate funds to scientists for local research in cervical cancer to develop vaccines at a minimal cost and that his new government will work to ensure vaccination, especially for all girls.

Modi has frequently expressed confidence that he will return to power for a third straight term after the general elections.

Digital public infrastructure is required, the prime minister said, with Gates adding that India is leading the way.

Speaking on the issue of climate change, Modi said the world needs to change parameters like use of electricity or steel to define development as it is anti-climate and should instead adopt terminologies like green GDP and green employment.

Discussing the issue of Artificial Intelligence (AI), he said it should not be seen as a magic tool or as a replacement for people’s laziness to do some work.

Prime Minister Modi noted as to how he used AI in the G20 summit for translating speeches and also his addresses in different languages in several events. A technology like ChatGPT should be used to constantly improve oneself, he added.

Highlighting his use of AI, Modi asked Gates to take a selfie through his (NaMo) app and then showed him how it could be located through the face-recognition technology.

Modi said he believed in democratisation of technology as it gives everyone an equal opportunity and added that he is taking technology to villages.

To a query from Gates, he said he is fascinated by technology but is not a slave to it. ”I am not an expert but have childlike curiosity for technology,” he said Speaking of digital revolution in India, the prime minister said he believed that nobody should have monopoly over it and it should be driven by the common people.

In this context, he highlighted the ”Drone Didi” scheme for women to use drones in agriculture and the initiative to provide long-distance treatment to patients.

Technology is being used to plug the shortcomings of teachers in education, Modi said.

He said digital technology will have a big role in the fourth industrial revolution and he is confident that India will do well.

Modi noted as to how India used the CoWin platform to provide Covid vaccination slots and certificates to people while the world was struggling to do it during the pandemic.

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