'India setting example in fight against COVID-19'

Developed nations trying to learn from India's experience in fighting coronavirus: Jitendra Singh

Union minister Jitendra SIngh on Saturday said that developed countries are trying to learn from India's experience in fighting COVID-19 pandemic.

The minister said this in a video conference with former bureaucrats from across the country while discussing measures to combat coronavirus and to brief them about the efforts being made by the Modi government to contain the pandemic, besides obtaining their inputs in this regard.  

Singh gave a chronology of measures undertaken under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a proactive basis, as a result of which, he said, India's record was much better compared to most other countries of the world.  

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"Today even the more developed countries of the world are looking forward to India, not only for support in terms of medicine supplies like chloroquine but are also trying to learn from India's experience in fighting COVID pandemic," the minister was quoted as saying in a statement issued by Personnel Ministry.  

Describing all the senior bureaucrats as men of wide experience, he said, their feedback and inputs carried great value because for several years, as part of the government, they were familiar with the working of the government machinery and at the same time, after superannuation they had the opportunity to view the things from another perspective as well.  

"At the same time, they are more familiar with the state and place where they had settled after superannuation and can therefore also offer suggestions specific to that region," said Singh, the minister of state for personnel.

Also Read: Coronavirus India update: State-wise total number of confirmed cases

The officers were quite appreciative of the minister for having invited them to offer their views and also of the initiatives taken by the government.  

They also acknowledged the government's efforts in containing the pandemic through various measures and shared their views about the exit plan in the post-lockdown period, the statement said.

The economic and social scenario in the post-lockdown period also came up for discussion and officers had some important inputs to offer based on their experience of having worked with different departments of the government including those related to finance, commerce and taxation, it said.

During the video-interaction, the former bureaucrats also underlined  issues like phased withdrawal of lockdown, more usage of technology in administration for example e-office, fiscal stimulus to kick-start the economy, financial security to the poor, introduction of more online courses and exams to utilize the academic year and facilitation of migrant workers to reach their native places.

Building up individual immunity through Vitamin C intake, AYUSH and other drugs as well as development of vaccines and testing kits indigenously to give a fillip to Make in India concept, also came up for discussion, the statement said.

Singh thanked the retired bureaucrats for their valuable suggestions on the subject and said that such kind of outreach will continue in future as well to get the distilled wisdom from all quarters to fight the menace of the pandemic.

Former IAS officers Sudhir Bhargava, Rama Sundaram, Rakesh Kumar Gupta, Satyananda Mishra, P Panneervel and K V Eapen, besides ex-IRS officers Sangeeta Gupta and Sheila Sangwan participated in the discussion.

The discussion assumes significance as 101 former bureaucrats had recently written to the chief ministers of states expressing anguish over the "harassment" of Muslims in some parts of the country.

They had termed as "misguided and condemnable" the action of Tablighi Jamaat in organising a meeting here but mentioned the "utterly irresponsible and reprehensible" action of a section of media in fuelling hostility towards the Muslims. 

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