India approves serum, Bharat Biotech coronavirus vaccines for emergency use; DCGI guarantees 100% security

At the start of the new year, India officially received a coronavirus vaccine when DCGI announced the formal approval of the coronavirus vaccines from Bharat Biotech and Oxford-AstraZeneca.

India’s central drug authority, Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), has issued the formal approval of Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines, manufactured by Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech. VG Somani from DCGI has in this connection stated that both companies have been granted permission for “limited use” in emergency situations after submitting data on their test runs against the coronavirus vaccine.

A coronavirus drug expert committee (SEC) from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) made the recommendations, and on the basis of these, the approval was given by DCGI. In connection with the approval of the vaccine, VG Somani stated that experiments with the vaccine had shown that it had a coverage effect of 70%. In addition to the approval of this vaccine, VG Somani informed that Bharat Biotech’s coronavirus vaccine ‘Covaxin’ is safe and provides a robust immune response and he also announced that Covaxin is approved for limited use in emergencies. He further expressed an assurance that if there should be the slightest concern regarding the safety of a vaccine, it will not be approved for use and stressed that the approved vaccines are 110% safe. However, there will usually be mild side effects associated with any vaccine, side effects such as mild fever, pain and allergies. The government-appointed expert panel in India gave Bharat Biotech’s coronacirus vaccine, ‘Covaxin’, and Oxfords ‘Covishield’  secure recommendations for restricted emergency use.

PM MODI CONGRATULATES INDIA
In connection with DCGI’s announcement of the official approval of vaccines from Serum ‘Covishield’ and Bharat Biotech ‘Covaxin’, Prime Minister Modi congratulated India and said that the approval has paved the way for a healthier nation without corona and that it is a crucial turning point in the fight against corona. He also congratulated India on having such skilled and hard-working scientists and tweeted, among other things: ” It would make any Indian proud that the two vaccines that have been approved in emergencies are made in India! This shows the zeal of our scientific community to fulfill the dream of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat whose root is care and compassion. “


Link:
https://www.indiatoday.in/coronavirus-outbreak/vaccine-updates/story/dcgi-serum-oxford-covishield-bharat-biotech-covaxin-approved-india-emergency-cases-2-doses-regime-1755391-2021-01-03

 

 

Largest Renewable Energy Project In World Will Be 30 Gigawatt Solar–Wind Project In India

In December 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation for the largest renewable energy project in the world in Gujarat, India: 30 gigawatts of wind and solar power.

A project this size can be difficult to fathom. Not long ago, 30 megawatts was a large renewable energy plant, and even today a 300 megawatt plant is considered large. 30.000 megawatt must be considered huge, then.

By the end of 2019 India had 42.8 GW of solar power. Only five countries had more than 30 GW of solar power capacity installed. In this project India will have 30 GW in one state. In comparison, all across the United States, from Hawaii to Florida they have 49.45 GW of solar power capacity installed.

In connection with the start of the project, Prime Minister Modi was invited to give a speech, in which he among other things said: “This park will be spread over 70,000 hectares of land equivalent to Singapore and Bahrain. About Rs 1.5 lakh crore will be invested in the construction of this park.”Prime Minister Modi also mentioned that the project will create jobs for 100,000 (lakh) people.

The Economic Times reports that: “The park will have a hybrid park zone for wind and solar energy storage, as well as an exclusive zone for wind park activities,”

By 2022 India’s goal is to have installed 175 GW of renewable energy capacity. It is a strong target. It is also impressive that 17% GW of this will come from one hybrid power project.

 

Link: https://cleantechnica-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/cleantechnica.com/2020/12/17/largest-renewable-energy-project-in-world-will-be-30-gigawatt-solar-wind-project-in-india/amp/

 

India readies for 600 million Covid vaccine doses, to use standard cold storage, electoral rolls for distribution

Worldwide, Indian pharmaceutical companies are major manufacturers and Astra Zeneca’s Covishield shots are being mass-produced at the Serum Institute of India, while Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila are developing their own vaccines.

An expert group in relation to vaccine administration for Covid 19, is led by VK Paul, advising India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. VK Paul announced on Friday that the Indian government has set up cold rooms with temperatures between 2-8 degrees Celsius for vaccine use. To be able to deliver 600 million doses of vaccine to the most vulnerable people in the giant country over the next 6 to 8 months, India will make use of its conventional chain systems and large selection machinery.

In the interview on Friday, VK Paul expressed that the vaccine from Serum, Bharat, Zydus and Sputnik needs a normal cold chain, and that this is not perceived as a challenge to be able to deliver in the country. Indian pharmaceutical companies are major manufacturers worldwide. Thus, the Serum Institute of India already mass-produces and stores AstraZeneca’s Covishield shots, while Indian biotechnology players Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila develop their own vaccine candidates.

Regulators in India are also looking at emergency vaccines, including vaccines from Pfizer Inc, AstraZeneca and Bharat Biotech, but for the vaccine from Pfizer Inc. there are great demands on the storage condition which requires a temperature of at least minus 70 degrees Celsius, which is expected to limit its use in India. However, should there theoretically be a situation in India where vaccines that require only ordinary cold chain needs cannot be procured in sufficient quantities, the Indian authorities will take care of making available storage options where the temperature can drop to minus 70 degrees Celsius.

Next to the United States, India is the country in the world affected by the largest caseload of coronavirus. Compared to the United States, however, there are significantly fewer deaths among the infected in India. In continuation of this information, VK Paul said on Friday that the most important task is to protect lives and that the government has therefore drawn up a plan to be able to immediately vaccinate 300 million people, all of whom must be vaccinated with two doses of vaccine in the first part of their program.

Last month, the Indian pharmaceutical company Hetero signed an agreement to produce more than 100 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V Covid 19 vaccine a year in India.

 

Link: https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/india-readies-for-600-million-covid-vaccine-doses-1748964-2020-12-12

There is no limit to what we can achieve when Indian talent is applied to Danish expertise

In an interview with Indian Global Business, Ruchikar Dalela, Country Head (Denmark), Tata Consultancy Services – and IDCC board member – talks about the relation between India and Denmark and what the two countries can gain from each other, but also how this collaboration can benefit the world.

Being asked what opportunities he sees Indian tech companies have in Denmark, Ruchikar says that he sees great opportunities in the cooperation between Denmark and India and that the old bilateral relationship now holds opportunities in much larger perspective. Denmark, he continues, for many years had a green perspective and has been a pioneer when it comes to wind energy, whereas in India the greenization is an extreme kind of critical need of the society.

As such, he notes, the collaboration accommodates a lot of significant advantages, including how Denmark’s many years of knowledge and experience in the green arena can benefit not only India, but the entire world. Matching this with the talent in India, there is no end to where a collaboration can lead us, he concludes.

Speaking on the topic of innovation, Ruchikar notes that in Denmark it is quite alright to fail and that failures do not prohibit you from applying and getting help. In India, on the other hand, the startup culture is not encouraging towards failure and as such, it is extremely intense and powerful – and you are not supported as well.

On the question of what Tata Consultancy Services works with in Denmark, Ruchikar says they work in all sectors based on the perspective of IT, process and technology. The company has, for example spent three to four years collaborating with a financial company on the development of robot technology and how the company can create greater value for its customers.

One of the problems they have helped the client with, he says, is minimizing the process time for shutting down a credit card if it has been lost or stolen. We have thus, he continues, reduced this process time from four minutes to one minute and thereby helping our financial client significantly reduce the risk of credit card misuse. We continue to work to make the process time even faster, so that the shutdown can take place immediately, Ruchikar concludes.

Watch the whole interview here: https://indiaincgroup.com/there-is-no-limit-to-what-we-can-achieve-when-indian-talent-is-applied-to-danish-expertise/

 

 

Others should look to follow India-Denmark Green Strategic Partnership, says Danish climate minister

Denmark and India recently signed a Green Strategic Partnership, the first such agreement for either country. Dan Jorgensen, the Danish Minister for Climate and Energy, in an interview with Hindustan Times, explained its significance.

What is the importance of the Green Strategic Partnership? Is this unique in the world?
The Green Strategic Partnership is very important for both countries, India and Denmark, but also for the rest of world. The two countries are in a very good position, because we can really help and learn from each other. Denmark is one of the leading countries in renewable energy, especially in offshore wind where we are using that technology to create “energy islands”.

As Prime minister Modi has noticed about the partnership is “Denmark has the skills, India has the scale”. India has ambitious plans for renewable energy, and I am very impressed by these plans. Denmark has the skills and is able to use them in helping India to achieve its goals.

I am not sure, that the partnership is the first one. I don’t know if other countries have similar agreements. But it is for sure the first time Denmark has made this sort of partnership. We are a part of a global community, and we look to United Nations climate issues, but we have to make bilateral alliances in these fields too.

Denmark and India are very different in size and climate. Why should they have looked to each other to form a partnership?
First and foremost, between our two countries there is a significant trust, friendship and good working relationship. Our authorities are used to working together. The size of energy transformation, India is undergoing will not only benefit India but the whole world. India is a key player in the battle against climate change, and considering India’s size, the country is a key player, if we are to have a chance to fulfill the Paris-agreement. We are all very impressed by India’s level of ambition in green energy, and what they have shown in this field so far.

Denmark has many areas of experience in connection to renewable energy. We have the biggest experience with offshore wind, we created the first offshore wind farms in Denmark in 1991. There has been a notable technological development in this area.

Where will green cooperation go in the future?
Indian government officials and experts are looking at our plans for offshore wind with great interest. But our plans for the future is to take wind power into a brand-new area. We don’t look at this sector as a competition with other countries, it is something where we have to work together with other countries with the greatest goal about energy transformation.

On the global level, first and most, we have to reach the Paris agreement. Currently we are not on the right track globally. But I am optimistic when I look at the development among the world’s largest emitters, such as India, China and the United States. I am especially delighted that the United States has promised to re-enter the Paris-agreement.

 

Link: https://m-hindustantimes-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/m.hindustantimes.com/india-news/others-should-look-to-follow-india-denmark-green-strategic-partnership-says-danish-climate-minister/story-DlYUv3ucYlF68h817iA2eP_amp.html

 

19.11.2020 – 400 years of Indo-Danish relations

On this very date, we celebrate the 400-year anniversary of Indo-Danish relations.

Since then, India and Denmark have and continue to cooperate in numerous areas, celebrating our joint values.

Our partners at the Danish Cultural Institute in India have created this video to highlight a few of these collaborations.

At IDCC, we look forward to support Indo-Danish cooperation into the next 400 years – and are happy to see IDCC members featured in this video.

 

Surprise! India Is Leaping Ahead in Clean Energy

India is taking big green leaps to meet its Paris Agreement obligations

In Western countries, India is often heard of as a major climate sinner, but this view of India is a thing of the past. Actually, India is undergoing a revolution in the field of green – energy. India is breaking records, exceeding targets and making cheap clean energy into a reality. Very few experts expected that India would be able to live up to its important commitments in the Paris Agreement. One commitment is a promise to increase the share of non-fossil fuel production capacity to 40% by 2030. Already today, India has fulfilled 38% of this promise by converting production capacity to use hydropower and nuclear sources. This transition is helping to put India on the right track, so that it can not only meet its goals in the Paris Agreement, but also exceed them.

The second commitment is to reduce carbon emissions by 33 to 35 percent (from 2005 levels) by 2030. Today, India looks likely to reduce emissions by as much as 45 percent by 2030, far exceeding its Paris Agreement target.

India has set its own ambitious goals for renewable energy – and exceeds them too. India’s fossil fuel production capacity is currently around 230 gigawatts (GW), of which 205 GW comes from coal. In 2015 Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced plans to build 175 GW of new renewable energy capacity by 2022. This announcement was met with skepticism in many places, as India at the time only had a production capacity using 34 GW of renewable energy. According to Amitabh Kant, CEO of the government’s political think tank NITI Aayog, India has already installed 89 GW of renewable power capacity and will reach Modi’s 175 GW target as planned.

The huge and deadly pollution in India’s major cities, along with the threat of the devastating effects on the climate along with the threat of big bills for energy imports, have all influenced Modi to further raise efforts. This was expressed at the UN summit in September 2019, where Modi announced that he has set a new target of 450 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030.

Furthermore, the 36 political parties represented in the Indian Parliament almost unanimously agreed that India should impose a tax on coal production equivalent to $ 6 per ton. India’s clean energy initiatives are gaining momentum thanks to global advances in green technology. It is especially wind power, energy storage and solar energy. These technologies are evolving exponentially and have entered a good cycle: when the prices of these technologies are falling, the demand for them rises, and when the production is expanded to meet the demand, the prices fall even more, all helping to speed up the adoption.

In 2008, the modules used in solar panels cost $ 3.65 per. watt; by 2018, the figure had dropped to below 40 cents. In India that year, solar energy production crossed an important threshold and became cheaper than coal. Rapidly declining costs have enabled India to increase its solar energy production more than ten times since 2015.

India made green history this year and broke not one but two records. In January, it implemented the world’s largest supply of renewable energy, which no longer requires fossil fuel backup. With a level-calculated first-year cost of 2.90 rupees ($ 0.04) per Kilowatt hour it will be among the world’s lowest rate for uninterrupted renewable energy – which finally makes the production and storage of clean energy cheaper than burning coal.

 

Link: https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/10/22/green-india-energy-climate/

A slice of Scandinavia in India’s Silicon Valley

Indian Danish collaboration on a new innovative creative school in Bengaluru in India

Snehdeep Aggarwal who is the initiator and founder of Chaman Bhartiya School (CBS) looked out into the world to find inspiration to build an innovative school in Bengaluru in India. Aggarwal’s road came past Scandinavia as this geographical area is known for, among other things, its superior education system. On his journey, Aggarwal passed by Orestad Gymnasium on the outskirts of Copenhagen, a high school that is known far and wide as one of the most innovative and unique schools in the world. During the visit to Orestad Gymnasium, Aggarwal met both with the architect who designed Orestad Gymnasium, but also with the principal of the school, which is a large gymnasium with 1200 students aged 16 to 19 years. The principal at the high school, Allan Kjaer Andersen, was an elderly gentleman who was nearing the end of his academic career to spend some more time with his wife, children and grandchildren, but the meeting with Agarwal had great significance for these plans, which until then had not included visits to and stays in India. After a few meetings, Aggarwal managed to persuade Andersen to move up from Orestad Gymnasium to go to Bengaluru in India to implement Aggarwal’s big dream of building a new innovative high school in India. Andersen got more agency to do what he wanted, than he had in Denmark, and he saw an opportunity to be able to implement some of his own innovative teaching dreams for the benefit of both students and the surrounding community. An innovative school demands school buildings that are open to creative and innovative thinking, and that is exactly what the new innovative school in Thannisandra, North Bengaluru has.

From the outside, the new school looks like anything but a traditional school building in India, and just as the building itself is untraditional, the teaching approach is also untraditional. Along with the ISCE or IB curriculum, the CBS school will attempt to instill leadership qualities in its students while instilling a set of 21st century skills, encapsulated in the 4 Cs, which stand for communication, critical thinking, creativity and collaboration. To implement this, Andersen is working to introduce some of the initiatives he had great success with at his school in Denmark. This starts with the relationship between the student and the teacher, the teacher will not ‘talk down to the student’ but enter into a relationship that engages the student to take the subject forward. The teaching method itself also has a different approach, in that the teaching will not take place as traditional classroom teaching. For example, there is not a traditional blackboard in a traditional classroom, but an open teaching area that offers new forms of learning. The teaching will, for example, take place in a creative and innovative process as a project assignment, where the students finally present the group’s contribution to a current societal solution. The presentation itself could take place as a video presentation of their acquired learning. In addition to this, the school will interact with the surrounding community, and the students will have to work with everyday problems that require new solutions. If a new cycle path is needed in the local area, it could be an obvious project for the students to contribute with new suggestions.

The third and perhaps most ambitious goal is for each student to have a passion project that in the future may lead the student into their possible career. The school will mentor the students finding their true calling in life – and mentor the parents about passion over convention and economic return of one’s career choices.

 

Link: https://wap-business–standard-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/wap.business-standard.com/article-amp/education/a-slice-of-scandinavia-in-india-s-silicon-valley-120110200368_1.html

New India believes in market forces, will be the most preferred investment destination: PM Modi

In his first interview after the outbreak of the pandemic, Prime Minister Modi reflects on the COVID-19 situation in India, and he believes that the country has great opportunities in the future market nationally as well as globally:

 

One of the questions PM Modi was asked was about the extent to which Indian could still emerge as a major hub for manufacturing and become an alternative to China as a global supply chain?

“We saw how a new world order was formed after World War II. Something similar will happen post Covid-19. This time, India will ride the bus of manufacturing and integrating in global supply chains. We have specific advantages in the form of democracy, demography and demand.”

“India has not started speaking about manufacturing only after the pandemic. We have been working on increasing manufacturing for sometime now. India is, after all, a young country with a skilled workforce. But India doesn’t believe in gaining from the loss of others. India will become a global manufacturing hub on its own strengths. Our effort is not to become some country’s alternative, but to become a country which offers unique opportunities. We want to see the progress of all. If India progresses, 1/6th of humanity will progress.”

 

Pharma has emerged as a stratigic sector in India. What considerations does PM Modi have on the relationship between India on the one hand trying to become part of the global supply chain while India is restricting its own imports?

“India is now in a position where we are not only meeting our domestic demand but are also capable of meeting the demand of other countries.”

“It’s not in the nature of India or Indians to be inward looking or self-centered. We are a forward-looking civilization and a vibrant democracy that looks to interact with other countries to build a better world. Aatmanirbhar Bharat is not just about competition but also about competence, it’s not about dominance but about dependability, it’s not about looking within but about looking out for the world.”

 

PM Modi reflects on the question about the subject of FTA and RCEP. Should India pursue FTAs at all? And how are the policy measures he proposes to enable India to take this giant leap? 

“The guiding principle behind International trade is to create win-win solutions for all countries involved. And I am told by experts, that ideally trade deals should be global and multilateral through the WTO. India has always adhered to global trade rules and stood for a free, fair, equitable, transparent and rules-based international trading system, which should fulfil the intended developmental objectives and aspirations of developing countries, as envisaged under the WTO.”

According to Moody’s: 154 greenfield projects from the US have come to India in 2020, compared to 86 in China, 12 in Vietnam and 15 in Malaysia. This is a clear indication of global confidence in India’s growth story going forward. We have laid strong foundations to make India the foremost manufacturing destination.

 

Link: https://m-economictimes-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/m.economictimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/we-should-assess-our-coronavirus-fight-against-the-metric-of-how-many-lives-we-are-able-to-save-pm-narendra-modi/amp_articleshow/78922895.cms

An insightful report on the economic outlook in India made by Deloitte

India – A long, winding, and uncertain road to recovery

In the last seven quarters before the pandemic hit India and the rest of the world, India’s economy had developed more slowly, since investment and exports were declining, and public spending boosted growth to compensate for declining private sector demand. To reduce the impact of the pandemic, the government intensified its efforts and announced its economic stimulus packages, which resulted in the government’s total expenditure increasing by 16.4 percent as they incurred unplanned expenditures. 

A time span for recovery of the economy will depend on how long the pandemic will last and depend on when there will be a useful vaccine against COVID-19, the accessibility to this vaccine and the treatment of the disease. That it is considered that precisely these areas are important in relation to improving India’s economy is due to the fact that COVID-19 not only infects people with physical illness, but that COVID-19 has the mental side effect that the citizens are infected with caution and anxiety. Citizens, who are also consumers, experience anxiety that targets health, employment and the economy. This anxiety can affect and change their consumption patterns and consumer behaviours while companies can change their practices, leading to faster automation or business models such as reshoring.

However, a prolonged pandemic and the possibilities of several outbreaks (as seen in several countries recently) will have implications on the intensity of the supply-chain disruptions (due to intermittent lockdowns), business transformations, productivity, capacity building across industries, and the financial fragility sector. These will determine the pace at which industrial production and investment return to normal. With adversity come new opportunities in terms of thinking in new creative and automated solutions. When politicians and companies respond to this crisis, one of their demands will be thinking ahead and working towards companies gaining greater resilience in order to prepare for the insecurity that the pandemic has brought with it, and which will affect the world in the months to come. These expectations and requirements for companies are considered necessary for them to recover and then thrive. It is important to understand the new norms and take advantage of the opportunities that these trends provide.

To meet some of these challenges India needs to upgrade its physical and social infrastructure significantly to compete with its global peers. Expenditure on infrastructure and healthcare is likely to tackle the demand insecurity challenge, thereby creating employment for low-skilled workers, improving the performance of the private sector and increasing the activity of small and medium-sized enterprises.

The greatest uncertainty relates to private demand. The modest global growth, lack of coordination between countries to limit the infection from spreading and the fact that different countries are in different pandemic stages, will affect trade and mobility and therefore demand. Within India itself, rural demand may stop for a while due to a good monsoon with good opportunities for local crops and government support to provide employment opportunities in rural areas. In contrast, the increasing levels of infection may keep demand subdued. That said, the upcoming festival months in India could generate enough demand to keep the wheels of the economy moving until the end of the year. At the same time, the pandemic’s impact on the economic situation in India could be the time for timely care for companies in improving their skills base and uncovering new opportunities such as digitization and consolidation to improve productivity and address new markets. This could also be a well-chosen time to reconsider sourcing plans and reorganize supply chains for many industries to de-risk their business. India can build on its reputation in service exports as cost rationalization and diversification into risk-taking business decisions between multinational companies can lead to greater opportunities for the Global In-house Center (GIC). Within some sectors and industries, such as pharma and auto, there are opportunities for GICs to move the maturation curve through higher research and innovation and by exploring opportunities to be in line with politicians’ vision of self-confidence for the country. India has in the past handled trying situations with caution, but the government has the necessary mandate to initiate challenging and difficult reforms that could put the economy back on track. Thriving in a challenging and difficult time will require decision makers, companies and investors to demonstrate resilience and the ability to convert challenges into opportunities, and it is time to do so now.

 

Link: https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/insights/economy/asia-pacific/india-economic-outlook.html