Context: The Prime Minister recently urged Indian Missions abroad to take note and identify innovations and scientific breakthroughs besides medical equipment that could help India in its fight against the COVID-19.
More about the news:
- The recent video conference, the first such event for Indian Missions worldwide, was aimed at analysing responses to coronavirus pandemic.
- Attendees: The heads of missions in 10 countries, including China, the US, Iran, Italy, Germany, Nepal, the United Arab Emirates, the Maldives and South Korea.
- Following directives were issued to the ambassadors:
- Ensuring availability of critical supplies and effective working of logistics supply chains
- Ensuring remittances remain unaffected during this period of crisis.
- Ensuring coordination with foreign partners.
- Attending to stranded Indians given the travel restrictions imposed by governments worldwide.
- The prime minister also advised them to suitably publicize the new PM-CARES Fund to mobilize donations from abroad.
- Following Perspectives were shared by Indian ambassadors
- Testing protocols adopted in South Korea,
- Car-makers in Germany making ventilators,
- Ensuring cooking gas supply from the UAE,
- Medical expertise shared by the US,
- Experiences in Iran and Italy,
- Possible “second wave” of the pandemic in China.
India needs to learn from worldwide examples
- Germany: Reported cases are around 60,000 but compared to that mortality has been “quite low” and the Indian side is keen to learn about their success. India is also looking at how German automobile-manufacturers are making ventilators.
- South Korea:The high volumes of testing in South Korea calls for a closer study. The country used technical aid and monitored people’s movements under quarantine.
- It is a PM-Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund set up to support the government in its fight against the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Contributions towards PM CARES Fund will be an eligible expenditure under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) obligations.
- It has been set up as a public charitable trust.
- The Prime Minister is the chairman of this trust and its members include Defence Minister, Home Minister And Finance Minister.
- Only Indians and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) can contribute to the fund.
- Differences between Prime Minister's National Relief Fund and PM-CARES Fund
- Prime Minister's National Relief Fund is for all kinds of natural disasters, while the PM CARES fund is specially meant for COVID-19 similar pandemic situations.
- PM CARES is a donation-based fund that means that legislature hurdles are taken care of.
- As any spending from the Consolidated Fund of India needs to be passed by the Parliament, therefore, creation of a donation-based fund such as PM CARES means that legislature hurdle is taken care of.
- The PM CARES Fund tries to differentiate itself from PMNRF by enabling micro-donations. One can donate as low as Rs 10 in the PM CARES Fund, while the minimum one can donate in PM National Relief Fund is Rs 100.