Defence

‘Virtual summits’: PM Modi set the template, then nudged the world

By hindustan times

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is known to have a busy calendar of engagements with global leaders, both at home and abroad.

Indeed, 2020 started out with PM Modi dialling a number of world leaders to extend new year greetings to them. He spoke to as many as 11 world leaders in the first two weeks of January 2020, including not only the leaders of neighbouring countries, but also those of Australia, the US, France and Russia.

The visits of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro as the Chief Guest on Republic Day, and US President Donald Trump in February showed that 2020 might shape up to be yet another year of hectic global engagements for PM Modi. Then the Covid-19 pandemic struck the world .

Not only did the pandemic make it almost impossible for world leaders to travel, it also meant that most leaders shifted their focus to domestic efforts to contain the pandemic. Prime Minister Modi, however, had other ideas. Conscious of the important role India’s pharmaceutical industry could play during a global pandemic, PM Modi was keen to stay deeply engaged with the world. But how?

India commercially supplied 560 million tablets of Hydroxychloroquine and 53.13 metric tonnes of active pharmaceutical ingredient of HCQ to 82 countries. It also commercially supplied 154 million units of paracetamol and 1605 metric tonnes of API to 96 countries to counter the coronavirus.

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