New Delhi [India], March 17 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Vaccine Maitri' initiative, under which India has supplied COVID-19 vaccines to 72 nations so far, has raised the country's standing and generated great international goodwill, said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday.
Even amid a global crisis, the "PM's initiative of such deep friendship raised India's standing, and it also emerged as a source of strength for vulnerable nations,'' said Jaishankar while making a statement on the 'Vaccine Maitri' initiative in the Rajya Sabha.
In planning and executing 'Vaccine Maitri', Jaishankar said the Indian government is guided by a determination to make a difference at a difficult moment for a global society.
"Our reputation as the 'Pharmacy of the World' has been reinforced in that process. So indeed has the faith in 'Make in India'. But more than the vaccines themselves, our policies and conduct have emerged as a source of strength for the stressed and vulnerable nations of the world," he said.
The world sees not just the selfless outlook of India but also of the quality of our products and capabilities, said the minister.
"The House should recognise the enormous feeling for India that our initiative has generated. Those sentiments have naturally been expressed by leaders and prominent personalities of many nations. But more than that, our ambassadors feel every day the warmth of ordinary people across the world for India. In the truest sense, this has been people-centric diplomacy at work," he said.
Under the 'Vaccine Maitri' initiative, India has been providing coronavirus vaccines to its neighbouring countries.
Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Anand Sharma and Communist Party of India's Binoy Viswam called on Jaishankar to acknowledge the contribution of past policies that helped in making India the pharmacy of the world.
However, Jaishankar did not acknowledge their suggestion, saying that "success has many fathers".
"Success has many fathers. I am delighted to see so many fathers claiming success. They really want to praise 'Vaccine Maitri' but are going about in a roundabout way...it is a great affirmation of the made-in-India program which India pursued so strongly," he said.
Ramesh said he wishes that Jaishankar will recognise the continuity in the policies has led to a situation we take legitimate pride in and call ourselves pharmacy of the world.
He pointed out India's unique Patents Act of 1970, the dilution of the equity stake of MNCs due to FERA and huge public investments in science and technology that led to the emergence of Indian companies such as Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute.
"While we pat ourselves on the back for being the pharmacy of the world, for being a major manufacturer, let us recognise that there has been a lot of continuity in this policy and the foundation that has been laid over the past few decades has led to the situation where we can take legitimate pride in our achievements," he said.
Viswam also stressed that India did not become the pharmacy of the world in six years. (ANI)