New Delhi: A day after terming the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI)’s nod for Serum Institute’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for restricted use in India as a decisive turning point in country’s fight against the virus, PM Narendra Modi on Monday (January 4, 2021) said that India will begin largest COVID-19 vaccination drive soon.

Prime Minister Modi while delivering the inaugural address at the National Metrology Conclave 2021 lauded the Indian scientists for successfully developing two Indian coronavirus vaccines in this new year and said, “India’s COVID vaccination program is the largest in the world and is about to be started.” 

PM Modi dedicated National Atomic Timescale and Bhartiya Nirdeshak Dravya Pranali to the nation and laid the foundation stone of National Environmental Standards Laboratory through a video conference. 

PM Modi urged Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to interact with school students to raise awareness about the efforts of the institute and said this would inspire and motivate them to become scientists in future. 

He also lauded the scientific institutions in the country including CSIR for coming together to find solutions for every challenge faced by the country. He praised CSIR National Physical Laboratory (NPL) for having played an important role in the evolution and evaluation in the development of the country. 

“The Conclave today would help to discuss the achievements of the past and help in preparing the institute to address future challenges,” said PM Modi. 

He urged the institute to come forward and play an important role in keeping with the new standards and new benchmarks to proceed towards forging a self-reliant India.

Earlier on Sunday, PM Modi congratulated Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech on getting the DCGI’s approval

“A decisive turning point to strengthen a spirited fight! DCGI granting approval to vaccines of @SerumInstIndia and @BharatBiotech accelerates the road to a healthier and COVID-free nation. Congratulations India. Congratulations to our hardworking scientists and innovators,” PM Modi said.

“It would make every Indian proud that the two vaccines that have been given emergency use approval are made in India! This shows the eagerness of our scientific community to fulfil the dream of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, at the root of which is care and compassion,” PM Modi said in another tweet.

The Serum Institute of India which is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer has tied up with Oxford-AstraZeneca to manufacture Covishield. 

On the other hand, Covaxin has been indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). 

Notably, the approval by the DCGI was given on the basis of recommendations submitted by a COVID-19 subject expert committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO). 

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