Microsoft founder Bill Gates met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow today.
Mr Gates, who is on a day-long visit to the state, met Mr Yadav at 1:30 pm. They discussed healthcare programmes in the state that Mr Gates intends to take up through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a charitable organization that he runs along with his wife.
Members of the Gates' foundation have already had preliminary meetings with state government officials from the health and family welfare department to lay the ground work for the meeting between Mr Gates and Mr Yadav.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed within two months between the UP government and the foundation, with the objective that the foundation shall provide technical, management and programme design support in maternal, neonatal and child health, vaccination and other health and agriculture related programmes. The state government will provide support as per sanctioned government plans.
Mr Yadav has suggested that the state should be supported in terms of technical knowhow for tackling health related challenges.
56-year-old Gates also offered the state government to work in the field of agriculture and also developing financial services for the poor by expanding digital payments systems into poor and rural communities, and connecting those payments to enhanced savings, credit and insurance services.
The Gates foundation already has initiatives like Sure Start, Manthan and Urban Health Initiative running in Lucknow and Raebareli.