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Multilateral cooperation key to overcoming global challenges such as COVID-19: Dr. Harsh Vardhan

About 30 vaccines are in different stages of development in India. Two of them are in the most advanced stage of development – COVAXIN developed through ICMR-Bharat Biotech collaboration and COVISHIELD from the Serum Institute of India.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan also calls upon Shanghai Cooperation Organization young scientists to come forward and join hands for developing solutions for common societal challenges including current pandemic of Corona.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a eight-member multilateral organization, established on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai, China by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

These countries, except for Uzbekistan, had been members of the Shanghai Five group, formed on 26 April 1996 with the signing of the Treaty on Deepening Military Trust in Border Regions.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “In response to COVID-19, India has put to use its significant scientific calibre.

From the development of indigenous vaccines, novel point-of-care diagnostics and therapeutic formulations based on traditional knowledge, to establishing research resources, Indian R&D entities both public and private, have been working relentlessly to develop effective interventions for combating the pandemic”.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, said this in his inaugural Speech at the First Virtual SCO Young Scientist Conclave, held virtually on Tuesday that “the broad aim of this conclave is to bring brightest young mindsfrom SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) on a common platform to harness their knowledge for addressing common societal challenges through research and innovation”.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan also informed that Indian Government had announced a US Dollars 12 Crore grant for COVID-19 vaccine research.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan also recalled that at the recently held SCO heads of States Summit Meeting on 10th November,2020, India had proposed creating a Special Working Group on Innovation and Startups to share our rich experience in the startup ecosystem.

The Science & Technology Minister congratulated all the young scientists who have been nominated for this first ever SCO Young Scientists Conclave, hosted by India.

Report by: Tapas Bhattacharya

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