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Bill Gates starts four-day visit to India

Agence France-Presse, PTI  New Delhi, November 11, 2002
First Published: 09:27 IST(11/11/2002) | Last Updated: 17:36 IST(11/11/2002)

Bill Gates, the head of US computer software giant Microsoft, arrived here Monday at the start of a four-day visit during which he is due to meet the doyens of India's booming IT industry, AIDS activists and political leaders.

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His visit is the third to the country, which usually accords him a reception equal to those given to heads of states.

He was to meet Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and President A.P.J Abdul Kalam, who is a technologist and the architect of India's missile programme.

Gates will devote a large part of his visit to a health care programme being supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which is addressing children's vaccination and AIDS prevention.

The foundation, along with the World Bank and Rockefeller Foundation, is supporting the development of an India-specific anti-AIDS vaccine.

Industry officials said Gates is likely to make new announcements relating to investments in the Indian arm of Microsoft, although company officials have not stated that this is on the cards.

Gates will be also visiting India's information technology capital Bangalore, a Microsoft development centre in Hyderabad and address businessmen in the country's commercial hub Bombay.

Microsoft has had a presence in India since 1987, with offices in five Indian cities including Bangalore.


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