The live session of Leadership talk by Prof. K. Vijay Raghavan , Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India was conducted on 8th April 2020 Faculty members and students of Manav Rachna University attended the session. The session was very informative regarding responses of scientific community and Government of India for handling the pandemic crisis.
Prof. K. Vijay Raghavan’s opinion regarding India’s fight against Covid crisis is the following: So far, India has done incredible job over last 2 weeks since the lockdown happened, however it is just at the beginning and India is learning from the experience of China, US, UK and other European countries like Spain, Italy, France, Germany etc. However, situation of India is different with respect to other countries in terms of huge population, demography, economic level, health system etc.
India needs to improve on contact tracing using technology (e.g. using Arogya Setu App), improve testing facility to increase volume of testing per day, special measures for handling isolation of people who are infected but not showing up Covid symptoms.
When asked about response of scientific communities of India for Covid solution Prof. Raghavan said there are lots of ideas ~ 10-20 per day they are reviewing and finding some are really innovative solutions which are simple and easily implementable in short time whereas some are complex and need regulatory processes for implementation which his office is facilitating. Regarding funding he said it is available and entrepreneurs can get it and now the rules are flexible. There is CSR funding available as well. In this context, he felt Tata Memorial Centre, Diagnostic labs in Bangalore are doing god jobs and on technology front IIT Delhi is doing good innovations. As MHRD Innovation cell is organizing Idea competitions in large scale across the country his advice regarding focus areas of innovation are: technology innovation to implement social distancing, hygienic ways of opening and closing taps where the same wash basin is being used by multiple people and also technology innovation for maintaining hygiene for toilets used by multiple people.
The session was concluded on a positive note for young scientists, engineers, innovators, entrepreneurs in our country to focus on innovations on Covid solutions which will give maximum return.