Recently, India has decided to set up an electronic platform to help member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The decision has been conveyed during a virtual conference of health professionals of eight countries in the region.
- The virtual conferencing of the health workers of the SAARC Nation was part of the two proposals made by Indian Prime Minister during the recently held virtual meeting of SAARC.
- The other proposal was to set up SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
- The e-Platform will enable the SAARC nations to share and exchange information, knowledge, expertise and best practices for jointly combating the Coronavirus epidemic.
- Objectives of the e-Platform
- Training of emergency personnel
- Disease surveillance
- Joint research
- Currently the platform is in the construction stage.
- Meanwhile India suggested to set up a Whatsapp or email group to help facilitate exchange of information among the SAARC countries till the platform became fully operational
- During the conference all the countries highlighted their specific vulnerabilities, capacities, the best practices, gaps in resources and logistics, private sector participation as well as levels of preparedness.
- Community engagement and participation was identified as an important element in any anti-Covid19 strategy.
- Fight Corona IDEAthon
- Recently, a 2-day online IDEAthon has been organized to search for accessible and affordable technological solutions that can contain the rapid spread of infection, ease the mounting pressure and ensure a quick return to normalcy.
- The initiative was jointly organised by MHRD Innovation Cell, AICTE, MeitY Startup Hub, InnovatioCuris and other institutions of global and national prominence.
- The focus area of the IDEAthon was
- designing reusable/washable masks
- system to disinfect currency notes/coins
- a non-invasive diagnostic kit
- Storage Kits to collect test samples from homes
Technology Diplomacy by India in SAARC Region
- India launched the GSAT-9, also dubbed the South Asia Satellite, aiming to provide space-enabled services to other South Asian countries.
- India has offered member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to join its advanced navigational satellite programme—GPS-Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN).
- Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) has potential to be useful for the SAARC countries which are dependent on foreign systems.
SOURCE : TH