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New Delhi : The largest bio-technology conglomerate Global Bio-India 2021 was inaugurated by Dr Harsh Vardhan,Union Science & Technology,Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare  MInister, on March 1, 2021. Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister, was special guest at the inaugural session.

The three-day event will see different sessions touching down upon different aspects of biotechnology. The first session of the Global Bio-India addressed how India’s campaign of ‘Make in India’ has translated into “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan” to provide resilience and self-sufficiency” to the country. The session highlighted the National Priorities, examples from India’s experience in turning COVID pandemic challenges into opportunities for developing domestic innovation ecosystem gaining self-sufficiency in requirements e.g., Vaccine, Drugs, Diagnostics, Personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, ventilators, thermal scanners, Masks etc.

Dr Deepak Bagla, CEO, Invest India, gave an overview of the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat for India and the World. Speaking on this occasion, he said, “India is one of the most open economies on the planet and the top green field destination of the world. The country today is the largest, youngest and fastest economy in the World.”

The event also saw a global perspective with participation of the ambassadors from Netherlands and Switzerland. Martin van den Berg, Ambassador, Embassy of Netherlands in India, Nepal  and Bhutan, commented that COVID-19 showed us that the world needs more international collaborations in terms of science, technology, agriculture. India has proven to be a success story when it comes to the vaccine distribution, he said, according to a PIB release.

Dr. Ralf Heckner, Ambassador, Embassy of Switzerland in India and Bhutan, said “India today is big part of solutions in science and innovation sectors. India is one of the most innovative countries in the world and 2021 budget proves that, where a large amount has been allocated for R&D. We want India to know Switzerland as a highly competitive country in terms of innovation, development.”

The insights on how to create a truly AtmanirbharBioeconomy and be a part of the global financing, innovation and manufacturing ecosystem were also shared in the session.

Dr Vinod Paul, Member Health, NITI Aayog, appreciated the efforts of scientific community and said, ” The speed with which the solutions during the pandemic appeared was phenomenal. The story of development of vaccine are amazing examples of how time can be compressed and scientific mobilisation can be initiated.  The intent to have a global footprint in the manufacturing sector when it came to COVID-19 vaccine was pathbreaking and something to be proud of. We have realised that we have the potential to deliver in a speedy manner, like we did for vaccine distribution.”

Dr. V. K Saraswat, Member, NITI Aayog said, “Biotechnology known sometimes as the oldest profession in the world today has grown in various ways, technologically. During the pandemic, the #startups in the #biotech sector have come out as great success stories to show to the world. The India Biotech sector, a 62 Bn Dollars sector in 2012 is expected to grow to 150 Bn by 2025”.

Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank, highlighted how the Atmanirbhar Bharat is a framework to link India to the Global Value Chain.