"The real test of the government is whether they are willing to do things that are good for the country. Common sense thinking and embracing the unpopular. What good is the mandate if they are not able to do such things," Gates said.

 

"When push comes to shove, the health structure (in India) has got to go up, the government has to really figure out the fiscal balance. It would be interesting to see if that goes up. I also think (that for) the economy as a whole there are some unpopular things that need to be done," he said.

 

Gates is here with his wife, both co-chairs of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to discuss the values and experiences that have shaped their philanthropy. Author Chetan Bhagat hosted the conversation, which was attended by students of AIIMS, IIT and Delhi School of Economics.

 

Lauding the government's decision to roll out four new vaccines in the country, Melinda Gates said that would contribute hugely towards bringing down infant mortality.

 

"We are enthused with the government that has come to power, very specifically in the area of health," she said. "If you have to stop the number of children dying every year, you need to roll out these vaccines," she added.

 

The government's commitments to new-born healthcare and to sanitation which can help bring down life-threatening diseases like diarrhoea are some of the other matters which she touched upon.

 

The Microsoft founder said that there was every reason to believe that progress is possible.

 

"I'm very optimistic and very impatient. If we've got the right people and studied the right way, we will be able to come up with a solution," he said.

 

The husband-wife duo discussed values and experiences that shaped their philanthropy, which they said was guided by the belief that "all lives have equal value".

Latest News from India News Desk