Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday highlighted how India has taken the lead role in manufacturing medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics during the COVID-19 pandemic. She added that the world is looking at India for vaccine distribution.
Addressing the audience virtually at Global Bio India 2021, the FM said, “The government has supported over 3,500 startups and 50+ incubators for creating a pool of intellectuals in the biotech sector. Over 200 products have been introduced in the market.”
The second edition of Global Bio India is being held virtually from March 1-3, which aims to showcase the strength and opportunities of India’s biotechnology sector at the national and global level.
During the virtual event, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, said, while Information Technology is ruling the country’s present, biotechnology will become India’s tomorrow.
Speaking along similar lines, Member of NITI Aayog Vinod Paul said, “The speed with which the solutions during the pandemic appeared was phenomenal. The story of the development of vaccines are amazing examples of how time can be compressed and scientific mobilisation can be initiated.”
Amidst the pandemic, the ecosystem realised its potential to deliver solutions speedily, he added.
Renu Swarup, Secretary of the Department of Biotechnology, said that the COVID-19 outbreak has provided the sector with great opportunities to unleash the full potential of innovation capacities and tackle the pandemic.
“Biotechnology has come out stronger and has given confidence to society,” she added.
The development comes in a few days after Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said that India has positioned itself as the go-to destination for healthcare majors.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as the second phase of the vaccination drive against COVID-19 began. In the second phase, citizens in the age group between 45 and 60 with comorbidities will be administered the vaccine. The aim is to cover a total of 30 crore priority population.