NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Dr Suman K Berry praised India’s scientific research and vaccine production ecosystem, saying the country launched a slew of actions and targeted interventions to limit the effect of the COVID epidemic and preserve lives and livelihoods.
In his remarks to the High-Level Political Forum, the Vice-Chairman emphasised that India’s vaccine production ecosystem has resulted in the world’s most widespread free immunisation programme, with over 1.98 billion doses reaching every corner of the country, even the most distant areas. Under the ‘Maitri’ vaccine initiative, India has supplied over 235 million total supplies of COVID-19 vaccines to 98 countries around the world, he said at the Ministerial Roundtable, emphasising that the recovery journey has been marked by a focus on government capital expenditure, particularly in building world-class infrastructure.
Talking on the environment front, he said, “PM Modi has articulated the goals of India at COP-27, and we remain committed to this. The sustainable development goals framework is critical to the context as it enables us to chart a new course of development & we affirm our commitment.”
During his remarks at the HLPF 2022, he also mentioned the Prime Minister’s Gati Shakthi Yojana, a national master plan for multimodal connectivity.
India’s experiences in using digital technology to achieve social protection and financial inclusion may be of interest to others, he said, adding that by leveraging such experiences, costs and risks for the global community might be lowered.
India initiated the Vaccine Maitri (Vaccine Friendship) project in January 2021, a massive diplomatic endeavour to give and distribute made-in-India vaccinations to low-income and developing countries throughout the world.
Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Morocco, South Africa, Afghanistan, Mexico, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, and many more nations benefited from the Vaccine Maitri programme.
India kicked off international shipments of the vaccines on January 20, 2021, only four days after starting its own vaccination program. Bhutan and Maldives were the first countries to receive vaccines as a grant from India.