An official of the ministry of external affairs (MEA) Friday said that the 'Atmanirbhar' programme has been launched by the government to make India as a hub of global supply chain and not inward looking.
Rahul Chhabra, secretary (economic relations) to the MEA said that the COVID-19 pandemic is like a 'black swan' event which has caused the fastest decline in global output in history.
Speaking at a webinar organised by Calcutta Chamber of Commerce, Chhabra said that the government has responded to this by launching the 'Atmanirbhar' (self-reliant) programme to make India a nerve centre of global supply chain.
"It is certainly not inward looking", he said adding the programme also underscores the government's faith in the private sector to deliver.
"The world has seen the danger of relying on one country. Messages have also been sent to Indian missions abroad to promote the country as an alternative low-cost sourcing destination".
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Chabbra said India has proved that it is the pharmacy of the world as drugs were supplied to 125 countries for battling the COVID-19 crisis and 80 countries received the drugs as grants.
India has also been providing lines of credit to many countries across the world to build infrastructure projects, he said.
The goal of commercial diplomacy is based on the benchmarks of transparency, fair and equitable justice, Chabbra added.