Publish Date: March 1, 2024

Bill Gates Inspires IIT Delhi Students, Encourages Them to Apply Their Skills to Global Challenges

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New Delhi: Mr. Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, addressed and interacted with students at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi) on the topic ‘Innovation for Public Good’ on February 29, 2024.

He delivered a keynote address, which was then followed by a question-and-answer session with several students in the audience, moderated by IIT Delhi alumna Gazal Kalra, Co-founder of Rivigo, India, and Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Clean Energy Ministerial.

Over 1,000 attendees joined live in the packed Dogra Hall auditorium, and the event was also live streamed on YouTube for students across IIT campuses.

During his address, Mr. Gates highlighted the critical role of emerging technologies in addressing persistent health and development challenges and the need for scalable, cost-effective solutions to ensure they can be equitably delivered. He emphasized India's work in vaccine manufacturing, AI for education, and digital public infrastructure and their contributions to driving global public good. He emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts between educational institutions, the government, and the private sector in promoting innovations that can lead to widespread public impact.

“I hope that as you plot out your future after IIT, you use the skills you sharpened here to improve lives in India and around the world,” said Mr. Bill Gates. “There’s a mind-boggling number of ways you can make a difference. I’m excited to see the great things you do for India and the world,” he added.

Prof. Rangan Banerjee, Director, IIT Delhi, welcomed Mr. Gates, delineating IIT Delhi's vision of fostering an ecosystem that bridges the gap between technological innovation and its applications for public good.

“At IIT Delhi, we are working on innovation in healthcare, nutrition, climate change, and clean air. Students, faculty and staff were excited and inspired by their interaction with Mr. Gates. The Institute hopes to work together with the Gates Foundation to make a greater societal impact through innovation for public good,” said Prof. Rangan Banerjee.

Bill Gates’s keynote address was received with great applause and admiration. The students were keen to hear about his views on the future of technology, building new-age businesses, technology, and his approach to philanthropic impact.

There were over 2,000 questions for Mr. Gates that were pre-submitted by the students, who sought his advice on a number of topics, including becoming an entrepreneur and setting up an organization like Microsoft.