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The Prime Minister today presented President Xi Jinping replicas of a stone casket of Buddhist relics and a stone statue of Buddha that were excavated from a 3rd -4th century AD stupa at Dev-ni-Mori – a site 80 kms east of Vadnagar, Gujarat – in 1957. In addition, the Prime Minister presented archaeological drawings of excavations at Vadnagar which was one of the places visited by the great Chinese traveller Xuanzang – also known as Hieun Tsang – around 641 AD. The site is referred to as Anandpur in Xuanzang’s writings and recent excavations point to the existence of a thriving Buddhist centre at Vadnagar way back in 2nd century AD. The Prime Minister visited the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda today where Xuanzang worked for years to translate the sutras that he brought to China from India.

Recent excavations at Vadnagar have revealed a burnt brick structure that has been identified as a Buddhist monastery on the basis of its peculiar plan and the antiquities recovered from it, which include a red sandstone broken head of Buddha, stylistically datable to 2nd century AD, a votive tablet with foot impression, and a crescent-shaped stone tray depicting the scene of a monkey offering honey to Buddha.

In his writings, Xuanzang had recorded that there were more than 1000 monks of the Sammitiya School or Little Vehicle in ten monasteries at Vadnagar, suggesting that Vadnagar was an important centre of Buddhist learning in western India during that period. In ancient times, Vadnagar was situated at a strategic location where two major ancient trade routes crossed each other. One of them was from central India to Sindh and to further northwest whiles the other from the port towns on the Gujarat coast to Rajasthan and north India. Therefore, it could have been a city of ample opportunities until these routes remained vibrant.

 

 General view of the excavated monastery 

 

Votive stupas near the monastery 

 

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PM interacts with leaders of pharma industry
April 19, 2021
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PM Modi appreciates the crucial role of the pharma sector in the fight against the pandemic
It is because of the efforts of the pharma industry that today India is identified as ‘pharmacy of world’: PM Modi
Despite all the challenges, the Indian pharma industry has also registered a growth of 18 percent in exports last year, which shows its potential: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with leaders of pharmaceutical industry via video conferencing. The Prime Minister appreciated the crucial role of the pharma sector in the fight against the pandemic.

PM Modi appreciated the way the pharma industry is working even in such trying conditions.

PM Modi remarked that it is because of the efforts of the pharma industry that today India is identified as ‘pharmacy of world’. He said essential medicines were made available to more than 150 countries around the world during the pandemic. The Prime Minister stated that despite all the challenges, the Indian pharma industry has also registered a growth of 18 percent in exports last year, which shows its potential.

Noting the second wave of the virus and rising number of cases, PM Modi commended the pharma industry for their efforts to increase production of several necessary drugs. He appreciated them for reducing the price of injections like Remdesivir. To keep the supply of medicines and essential medical equipment going smoothly, PM Modi urged the pharma industry to ensure seamless supply chains. PM Modi also extended government’s support for facilities like Logistics and Transportation.

He urged the industry to conduct more and more researches on threats which can occur in the future along with Covid. This, he said, would help us take the lead in combating the virus.

Seeking cooperation from the pharma industry, PM Modi assured that government is undertaking reforms for new drugs and regulatory processes.

The leaders of the Pharma industry appreciated the proactive help & support received from the Government. They highlighted the efforts made over the last one year in ensuring availability of drugs keeping manufacturing and logistics operational. Operations at the pharma hubs for manufacturing, transportation, logistics and ancillary services are being maintained at optimum levels. The participants also share inputs on the measures being undertaken to meet the overall medicine demand in the country despite the unprecedented increase in demand for some drugs  the COVID Treatment Protocol.

The meeting was also attended by Union Health Minister Shri Harsh Vardhan, MoS (Health) Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Union Minister Chemical and Fertilizer Shri D.V. Sadananda Gowda, MoS (C&F) Mansukh Mandaviya, Principal Secretary to PM, Dr V K Paul Member (H) NITI Aayog, Cabinet Secretary, Union Health Secretary, Union Pharmaceutical Secretary, Dr Balram Bharagava, DG ICMR, amongst other officers from Ministries / Departments of Central Government.