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Dr Harsh Vardhan releases white paper on ‘Focused Interventions for ‘Make in India’ Post COVID 19

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Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science & Technology, Health and Family Welfare and Earth Sciences released a White Paper on ‘Focussed Interventions for ‘Make in India’: Post COVID 19’ and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients: Status, Issues, Technology Readiness and Challenges, prepared by Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), at a virtual function, in New Delhi. Dr VK Saraswat, Chairman TIFAC Governing Council, and Prof Pradeep Srivastava, Executive Director, TIFAC, Dr Sanjay Singh, Scientist (G) and Mukesh Mathur, Incharge (F&A), TIFAC were also present on the occasion.

This could have a positive impact on the pharma and healthcare industry in India since the cost of manufacturing would reduce. The benefits can then be translated to the patients at large.

Dr Vardhan congratulated TIFAC for bringing out this White Paper document at a right time when India is gearing up for boosting the economy with a new Mantra ‘Local Solutions to Global Challenges – Policy and Technology Imperatives.’ “The road to national economic recovery traverses through measures like policy support to unconventional strategies, leveraging into new international partnerships in important sectors of health, agriculture, electronics, ICT and manufacturing and providing new technology stimulus,” he added. Dr Vardhan requested “Our industry friends, research and policy bodies to refer to this White Paper in designing the path for the upliftment of the economy.”

Pointing out that India has been largely successful in mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 so far, Dr Vardhan said, “We got the opportunity to position ourselves as a global manufacturing hub with a big push under ‘Make In India’ with the adoption of appropriate technology and policy reforms and focused thrust in crucial sectors. He emphasised that this calls for furthering investment in developing infrastructure, industrialisation, strengthening supply chain mechanism, creating demand for goods and services, converting farming into a business proposition etc.”

The Minister said, “The current pandemic is global, but the solutions to the challenge should be local.”

Dr VK Saraswat in his address said that The White Paper has highlighted five sectors that would be critical for India’s economic growth, using technology stimulus and charted out sector-specific as well as aggregate policy and technological recommendations.  He said, “The document also presents models of recovery of Indian economy, leveraging new international partnerships in important sectors based on national priorities and technological strength.”

Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST, in his message, said that The White Paper by TIFAC presents a compelling map of high priority sectors, technologies, and strategies to fuel growth in the time of COVID-19 and immediately beyond. The sector-wise reports being worked on currently will also be an invaluable resource in defining the opportunities even more sharply.

Prof Pradeep Srivastava, Executive Director, TIFAC gave a power-point presentation and explained, The white paper by TIFAC will help understand, evaluate and define the impact of the pandemic on the Indian economy and provide policymakers (Government of India) and public with the guidance that can be taken to mitigate the widespread economic shock and boost the Indian economy, cut through the noise of fall and prepare the ground for recovery using self-reliance as the new mantra.

This White Paper captures sector-specific strengths, market trends, and opportunities in five sectors, critical from the country’s perspective, includes healthcare, machinery, ICT, agriculture, manufacturing, and electronics with reference to supply and demand, self-sufficiency and mass-scale production capacity. It has identified policy options primarily in the areas of the public health system, MSME sector, Global relations: FDI, recalibrated trade alignments, new-age technologies, etc. This is precisely important for the development of technology clusters in champion segments, creating technology start-up exchange, identifying, supporting, and piloting ten blockbuster technologies and collaborating with new dynamics with incubators of Israel, Germany, towards promoting import substitution as well as evolving technology platforms in sunrise technologies. The recommendations are directed towards giving immediate technology and policy impetus to make India ‘ATMANIRBHAR.’ Based on the linkages and interdependencies between the outputs of different sectors, output multiplier and income multiplier for various sectors have been presented in the paper.

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