New Delhi, Nov 25 (PTI) The government has initiated a robust COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and delivery ecosystem to meet the demand, Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Wednesday.

Vardhan, who is also the health and family welfare minister, said that as the world races to develop the vaccine for COVID-19, India is looking to be self-reliant in both its development and mass production.

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Addressing a virtual Global R&D Summit 2020, organised by FICCI, jointly with the Department of Science and Technology, Vardhan said, "Called as the pharmacy of the world, India has the largest capacity to produce COVID-19 vaccines.

"We have now initiated to look at a robust vaccine manufacturing and delivery ecosystem to meet our demands in the coming days. That is one area where your (industry) inputs will help us in not only addressing a topical issue but also creating best practices for the future."

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Research and innovation, he said, are the way of life.

The current pandemic has further reinforced the belief in innovation and R&D to accelerate products and services that not only are helping in disease management but in turn to make the nation resilient and self-reliant, Vardhan said.

He further stated that it is time for bold decisions and bold investments, and not for conservative approaches.

"This also is the time to move from a command-and-control economy to plug-and-play and to build a competitive global supply chain. We are committed to help companies invest in India and make for India and for the world," he added.

Fuelled by the current pandemic, Vardhan said India is transitioning from an era of liberalisation and globalisation to one where it must reinvent itself to become a self-reliant country.

"People, planet and profits are interlinked, and all three can simultaneously co-exist and flourish. With support from the government and private industry, the Indian R&D sector can reach new heights and will contribute to the nation's growth and prosperity," he noted.

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