PM Modi hails Indian scientists for developing vaccine against COVID-19

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge of the century but history has witnessed that whenever humanity has faced any major issue, science has paved the way for a better path in the future.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday lauded Indian scientists for developing a Made in India vaccine against COVID-19, and boosting other measures to fight the pandemic within a year of its outbreak.

Addressing a meeting of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Society via video conference, the Prime Minister, who is also the president of the scientific body, cited India's experience in the previous century to say that the country used to wait for years to lay its hands on innovations achieved abroad, but its scientists are now working shoulder to shoulder with their counterparts outside.

They are working at the same quick pace, he said.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge of the century but history has witnessed that whenever humanity has faced any major issues, science has paved the way for a better path in the future.

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This work was done by scientists across the world and in India, the Prime Minister said.

"Our scientists, within a year, developed 'Made in India' vaccine and made it available to the countrymen," he said.

India has indigenously developed Covaxin vaccine against coronavirus.

He said within a year, scientists made the country self-reliant by making COVID testing kits. In a short span, they discovered many drugs to treat coronavirus and developed ways to speed up oxygen production.

"Because of your contribution, immense talent, the country is fighting this big war (against coronavirus)," PM Modi said.

On the occasion, PM Modi reiterated his call for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat (Self-reliant) and a strong India, saying the COVID-19 crisis may have slowed its pace but the country's resolve remains the same.

Lauding the work done by the CSIR, he said the organisation has produced several talented scientists and it was led by ones like Shantiswarup Bhatnagar.

"I have always stressed that (if) any organisation which has such a great legacy, then its responsibility also rises for the future. The country has a lot of expectations from scientists and technicians," Modi said.

The CSIR, he said, has a powerful ecosystem of research and patents and its scientists work for many problems faced by the country.

"But the country's goals and dreams are based on the foundation of the 21st century. Which is why the goals of the CSIR are also extraordinary," he said.

India wants to be self-reliant in a number of sectors, ranging from agriculture to astronomy, disaster management to defence technology, vaccine to virtual reality, and biotechnology to battery technology, he said.

He suggested that all the work done by the CSIR should be made easier for people to access. Any person can search about it and connect it, he said.

"You all must stress on it. This will also support your work and products and increase scientific approach in the society and industry," Modi said.

Edited by Anju Narayanan

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