In late 2019, a dreaded enemy, which knows no boundaries, started spreading faster than any other pathogen has in recent history. The contagion became a pandemic overnight, taking into its deadly embrace every nook and corner of the world. Governments, medical professionals, scientists and financial planners around the world start fretting about the direct and indirect human, health, social and economic costs of the pandemic. There were no good answers, let alone a satisfactory counter to the virus.

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Every country – rich and poor, scrambled to find a balance between reducing the impact of the virus while keeping the economy running. Every country faced its unique challenges, but none more than India. The scale, complexity and diversity of the country coupled with its deep global economic integration meant India had to find counters to the pandemic required evolving its own financial, healthcare and social models.

And India did just that. With decisive political leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ingenuity of Indian pharmaceutical firms and their scientists, and adoption of a whole of government approach, India overcame the worst fears and potential downside scenarios. India created its own vaccine intellectual property, leveraged its technology and infrastructure backbone to distribute them, and helped the world in the true spirit of vasudhaiv kutumbakam: a Sanskrit word that means the world is one family.
India’s fortitude and collective resolve was based on its self-belief, which played a key role in the country’s resilience in facing the pandemic. India’s response to COVID has put India on a path of an ingrained aatmanirbhar, which literally  means self-reliance.

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