Two more indigenous Covid vaccines soon, Mandaviya tells Lok Sabha

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |

Updated: December 7, 2021 8:16:25 am

Two more indigenous Covid-19 vaccines will be available in the coming days, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in Lok Sabha on Monday during a debate on the passage of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill, 2021 – which was later passed.

The Minister said third phase trial data for both the new vaccines has been submitted.

“We hope that the data and trial [of the two vaccines] will be successful. Both these companies are Indian, the research and manufacturing have also been done in the country,” Mandaviya said, adding that with the government’s help Indian scientists had developed a Covid-19 vaccine in just 9 months.

Mandaviya said that the government has approved a productive linked incentive scheme of Rs 14,000 crore to ensure the manufacturing of 51 APIs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) in the country.

The Bill, aimed at providing status of ‘institution of national importance’ to six new NIPERs at Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Hajipur, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Raebareli, was introduced in the Lok Sabha on March 15, 2021.

During the over-3 hour debate, 24 members participated. Several Opposition members including Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, TMC member Sougata Ray and RSP member N K Premachandran moved amendments in the Bill, which were negated by the House.

Opening the debate Congress member Abdul Khaleque said the move to accord the status of ‘institute of national importance’ to six of the seven institutes is appreciated as this will enhance development and research work in each of the institutes.

BJP member Dr Rajdeep Roy said the new status will allow these institutes to exercise greater autonomy by giving them the power to hold their own examinations, to grant them degrees, diplomas and, of course, other academic distinctions or fellowships.

DMK member Dr Veeraswamy Kalanidhi raised the issue of proposed reduction of members in the Board of Governors of these institutes.

TMC member Sougata Ray also raised the same issue and said, “The idea is also to reduce the power of the local NIPERs and to reduce the number of Board of Governors from 23 to 12.”

BJD member Kumari Chandrani Murmu demanded the setup of a NIPER in Odisha while BSP member Kunwar Danish Ali gave his support for the Bill.

NCP member Supriya Sule raised the issue of strategic disinvestment of Hindustan Antibiotics Limited in Pune and Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Limited and asked the government why it was selling these companies.

Congress member Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury underlined the need for drug security and highlighted that the country’s drug requirement depends on China.

“What will we do if China tries to harm us more?” asked Chowdhury.

Soon after the Bill was passed, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla adjourned the House till Tuesday.

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