Microsoft founder Bill Gates told PTI that Aadhaar's technology does not have any privacy issues. His Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has also funded the World Bank to take this approach to other countries as he considers the technology worth emulating.
The 62-year old billionaire and philanthropist also said Nandan Nilekani, (Infosys founder and the chief architect of Aadhaa), was consulting and helping the World Bank on the same project.
When asked if Aadhaar technology used in India is worth emulating, he told PTI, "Yes, the benefits of that (basic ID- Aadhaar) are very high."
Aadhaar is the world's largest biometric ID with over a billion enrollments from India.
"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," Gates said.
He further said,"We have funded the World Bank to take this Aadhaar approach to other countries."
Reports say that several countries, including some from India's neighbourhood, have approached New Delhi for assistance in this matter.
When asked about privacy concerns, Gates said, "Aadhaar in itself doesn't pose any privacy issue because it's just a bio ID verification scheme."
"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 added.
He also said, "(It uses) Aadhar to set up the accounts so that you can both get your cell phone and get your bank account."
About Nilekani, Gates said, "I'm both good friend and an admirer of Nandan Nilekani and some of the initiatives of digitization efforts that can help with education that can help with governance," he said.
Earlier in November 2016, in his lecture on 'Technology for Transformation' organised by NITI Aayog on November 2016, Gates had said that Aadhaar is something that had never been done by any government before, not even in a rich country.
Inputs from PTI