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Vaccinate people in areas worst affected by COVID’s second wave

This article was first published The Mint. You can read the original piece here. In the past month, we have learnt two things about the pandemic. First, that relaxed behaviour by previously better-protected populations across the country is causing a surge in new coronavirus infections; and second, that the speed...

Vaccine diplomacy post-Covid-19

Vaccine diplomacy is state-led action of leveraging vaccine expertise for furthering foreign policy goals. These goals can range from maintaining ties between nations, burnishing an international reputation, or developing influence within a region. A robust framework can aid in the identification of vaccine diplomacy opportunities and allow India to quickly...

DNA Technology Regulation Bill: Will the Standing Committee’s concerns about privacy, capacity be addressed by Parliament?

This article first appeared in Firstpost The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019 is listed for consideration in the ongoing budget session of the Parliament. The Bill is aiming to create a DNA Regulatory Board to oversee the standardization of DNA profiling – a technique widely employed in...

Comments to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change on Demand for Grants (DFGs) in the Union Budget for FY 2021-22

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change invited comments on the Demand for Grants in Budget 2021-22. The following document presents an analysis of the overall budgetary trends across the concerned ministries and departments from the Financial Year (FY) 2015-2016 till date. It also...

Can India lead global health diplomacy?

The conventional forum of global diplomacy tends to be dominated by the issues of trade and security. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the light the importance of health diplomacy. Health security cannot be limited to the engagement at national level. Today, global level engagement is needed more than...

Private sector can be govt’s useful ally in Covid vaccination, not an adversary

Despite being the second-fastest country to vaccinate over 10 million people and currently having the third-highest number of people vaccinated against Covid-19, it is fair to say that India’s vaccination programme has gotten off to a slow start. At around 300,000 per day, the current vaccination rate is only a...

STIP2020: A wish-list, not a policy

This article first appeared in IndiaTogether The COVID-19 experience has brought attention to the importance of science, technology and innovation. Researchers facilitated the rapid understanding of a new virus. Technology underpinned efforts for curbing the spread of the disease. Entrepreneurship led to quick production of diagnostics, treatment and vaccines. But...

The History of Vaccine Diplomacy

The Beginning, #1 In fields of diplomacy, vaccine diplomacy is a relatively novel subset, structured around using medicines, trained personnel, and scientific knowledge to support and further foreign policy. Of all the forms of diplomacy, this is surely the one that is most inextricably linked to kindness and courage, for...

COVID-19 vaccine diplomacy: India’s opportunity to regain leadership in the neighbourhood

COVID-19 vaccine diplomacy: India’s opportunity to regain leadership in the neighbourhood By Pranathi Rao In early 2020, India responded to COVID-19 with a strict lockdown, mask mandates, and a broad shutdown of schools and recreational centers. The disease burden- as the country with the second highest number of total COVID-19...

Why India will not see a big second wave of Covid-19

There will not be a significant second wave of Covid-19 in India. Last August, using a Cynically Optimistic Back Of The Envelope, or COBOTE, calculation, I estimated that Covid-19 will end its epidemic phase in India by January 2021. Karthik Shashidhar, my collaborator, used the curve-fitting technique to predict that...
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