VP tells scientists to be ready to combat new, emerging diseases

New Delhi, Mar 3 (FN Bureau) Vice-president Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday called upon scientists and researchers to be always ready to combat new and emerging diseases as the COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need to be ever vigilant to tackle an outbreak of sudden and unforeseen epidemics and pandemics. He made the remarks while virtually addressing the Valedictory and Award Session of Global Bio India-2021.

He lauded the Department of Biotechnology for working relentlessly to mitigate the COVID-19-induced health crisis through the development of diagnostics, vaccines and novel protection equipment, apart from scaling up diagnostic capacity and rapid regulatory response, he expressed happiness that India is at the forefront of fighting the pandemic. Mr Naidu said India’s action of supplying the coronavirus has drawn praise from the World Health Organization with its Director-General thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for supporting vaccine equity.

Built on four core beliefs of entrepreneurship, innovation, development of local talent, and demonstrating high value-based care, India is in a unique position to transition from the biotech industry to a bio-economy, he said as per an official statement. He said the ‘Make in India’ initiative or Atmanirbhar Bharat will help in achieving the paradigm shift from ‘biotech’ to ‘bioeconomy’. ‘I am sure that the new policy actions would result in the growth of a sustainable bio-economy’, he added. Referring to the Biotech sector’s ambitious target of becoming a USD 150 billion industry by 2025 and contribute to knowledge and innovation-driven economy, Mr Naidu urged the academia and the industry to join hands and engage pro-actively in imparting training and skills to the youth. Union Minister of Science & Technology, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Dr RenuSwarup and others participated in the virtual event.