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“The need of the hour is to ensure more youngsters develop interest in Science. For that we must get well-versed with science of history and history of science”, said Prime Minister Sh Narendra Modi today while inaugurating the Vaishvik Bhartiya Vaigyanik (VAIBHAV) Summit, a global virtual summit of overseas and resident Indian Researchers and Academicians.

 “VAIBHAV Summit 2020 celebrates Science and Innovation from India and World. I would call it a true sangam or confluence of great minds, through this gathering we sit to form our long lasting association for empowering India and our planet”, he said.

Shri Narendra Modi said, Government of India has taken numerous measures to boost scientific research and innovation as science is at the core of its efforts towards socio-economic change.

Prime Minister referred to India’s immense efforts towards development of vaccines and executing the vaccination programme.

He said, the long break in vaccine production is broken. In 2014 four new vaccines were introduced into our immunization programme. This includes indegineously developed rota vaccine.

He mentioned about ambitious mission to eliminate tuberculosis in India by 2025, which is five years before the global target.

Shri Narendra Modi referred to the National Education Policy 2020 which was brought in after three decades and after nation-wide detailed consultations and deliberations. The policy aims to boost curiosity towards science and gives much needed boost to Scientific Research. It provides open and broadbased environment to nurture young talent.

 Prime Minister mentioned about the pioneering space reforms of India which will create opportunities for industry and academia.

Mentioning about Indian partnership in Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, CERN and International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), he highlighted the importance of scientific research and development efforts at global level.

He also referred to India’s major missions on supercomputing and cyber physical systems. Talking about fundamental research and applications in areas of artificial intelligence, robotics, sensors, and big data analysis, he said that this will boost the startup sectors and manufacturing in India.   

He mentioned about the 25 innovation technological hubs already launched in India and how it would further boost the startup ecosystem.

He said , India wants top quality research to help its farmers. He praised Indian scientists for increasing the production of pulses and food grains.

Prime Minister said when India progresses the World progresses.

Prime Minister said that VAIBHAV presents a great opportunity to connect and contribute; when India prospers, the world also takes a lead.  Calling VAIBHAV as a confluence of great minds, he said that these efforts will help create an ideal research ecosystem, merging tradition with modernity to create prosperity. These exchanges will certainly be useful and will also lead to useful collaborations in teaching and research. These efforts of the scientists and researchers will help create an ideal research ecosystem. 

Prime Minister mentioned that Indian diaspora are the excellent ambassadors of India at the world stage. The summit should look forward to realising the dream of building a secure and prosperous future for the coming generations. India wants top-class scientific research to help our farmers. This summit will lead to useful collaborations in teaching and research. The efforts of the Indian diaspora will help create ideal research ecosystem.

In VAIBHAV summit, more than 3000 overseas Indian origin academicians and scientists from 55 countries and about 10,000 from India are taking part and it is being organized by 200 Indian academic institutes and S&T departments, led by Principal Scientific Advisor, Government of India. Around 700 overseas panelists from 40 countries and 629 resident panelists from eminent Indian academia and S&T departments will deliberate on 18 different verticals with 80 sub-topics in 213 sessions. 

The deliberations will be held from 3rd October to 25th October 2020, with consolidation of outcomes on 28th October. The summit will conclude on the occasion of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Jayanti i.e. 31st October 2020. The initiative involves multiple levels of interactions among the overseas experts and Indian counterparts over a month-long series of webinars and video conferences. 

The broad S&T areas that will be discussed during the summit includes computational sciences, electronics & communication, quantum technologies, photonics, aerospace technologies, medical sciences, biotechnology, agriculture, material & processing technologies, advanced manufacturing, earth sciences, energy, environmental sciences, and management.

The aim of the summit is to bring out a comprehensive roadmap leveraging the expertise and knowledge of global Indian researchers for addressing emerging challenges for universal development. The summit will reflect on the collaboration and cooperation instruments with academia and scientists in India and abroad. The goal is to create an ecosystem of Knowledge and Innovation in the country through global outreach.

Principal Scientific Advisor Prof K. Vijayaraghavan and 16 overseas panelists from different countries viz. USA, Japan, Australia, UK, France, Singapore, Republic of Korea, Brazil and Switzerland, working in different domains such as computing & communication, sono-chemistry, high energy physics, manufacturing technologies, management, geo-science, climate changes, microbiology, IT security, nano-materials, smart villages, and mathematical sciences  interacted with the Prime Minister during the inaugural session. 

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There is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment: PM
All necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for Covid patients: PM
Local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns: PM
PM reviewed the status of supply of Remdesivir and other medicines
Installation of approved medical oxygen plants should be accelerated: PM
Utilize the entire national capacity to ramp up vaccine production: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to review the status of preparedness to handle the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Various aspects relating to medicines, oxygen, ventilators and vaccination were discussed.

The Prime Minister said that together India had defeated Covid last year & India can do it again, with the same principles but faster speed and coordination.

The PM stressed that there is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment. Early testing and proper tracking remains key to reduce mortality. He also said that local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns.

The Prime Minister directed that close coordination with States must be ensured in handling the pandemic. He said that all necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for Covid patients. The Prime Minister also directed that additional supply of beds through temporary hospitals and isolation centres should be ensured.

PM spoke about the need to utilize the full potential of India’s pharmaceutical industry to meet the rising demand of various medicines. He reviewed the status of supply of Remdesivir and other medicines. The Prime Minister was briefed on actions taken to address the issue of availability of Remdesivir. Through the efforts of the Government, capacity and production augmentation for manufacturing of Remdesivir has been ramped up to provide around 74.10 lakh vials/month in May while the normal production output in January-February being just 27-29 lakh vials/month. Supplies have also increased from 67,900 vials on 11th April going up to over 2,06,000 vials on 15th April 2021 which are being particularly focused on states with high caseload and high demand. He took note of the ramped up production capacity, and directed that issues relating to real-time supply chain management to States must be resolved urgently in coordination with the States. The Prime Minister directed that use of Remdesivir and other medicines must be in accordance with approved medical guidelines, and that their misuse and black marketing must be strictly curbed.

On the issue of supply of medical oxygen, the Prime Minister directed that the installation of approved medical oxygen plants should be sped up. 162 PSA Oxygen plants are being installed in 32 States/UTs from PM CARES. The officers informed that 1 lakh cylinders are being procured & they will be supplied to states soon. The officers briefed the PM that they are in constant supply with 12 high burden states in assessing the current and future requirement of medical oxygen. A supply mapping plan for 12 high burden states till 30th April has also been undertaken. The Prime Minister also said that supply of oxygen required for production of medicines and equipment necessary to handle the pandemic should also be ensured.

The Prime Minister also reviewed the status of availability & supply of ventilators. The Prime Minister noted that a real time monitoring system has been created, and directed that concerned State governments should be sensitized to use the system proactively.

On the issue of vaccination, the Prime Minister directed all officials to make efforts to utilize the entire national capacity, in public as well as private sector, to ramp up vaccine production.

He was joined by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Union Home Secretary, Union Health Secretary, Pharma Secretary. Dr V K Paul, Niti Aayog was also present.