New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the country was proud of the Indian scientists for coming up with successful ‘Made in India’ COVID-19 vaccines. 

Delivering the inaugural address at National Metrology Conclave via video conferencing, PM Modi lauded the 'Make in India' products and called for strengthening of Brand India.

"We have to ensure that there is not only global demand but also global acceptance of 'Make in India' products. We have to strengthen brand India on the basis of quality and credibility," the prime minister said. 

"Today, India is among the top 50 countries in global innovation ranking. The collaboration between industry and institutions is being strengthened in India," he added. 

PM Modi also stressed on the fact that quality was as important as quantity and the standards needed to rise in the country's quest for 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat'. 

Highlighting the importance of research, PM Modi said: "The impact of any research is commercial, social and expands our understanding. Many times other potential future uses of research can't be estimated in advance, but it's for sure that research is never wasted. Just as it's said in our shashtras that soul is immortal, so is research."

On Sunday, India's drugs regulator Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for a massive inoculation drive.

The DCGI granted the approval on the basis of recommendations by a COVID-19 Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO). 

The Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, has tied up with AstraZeneca to manufacture Covishield, while Covaxin has been indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed the approval a "decisive turning point" in India's fight against the novel coronavirus.

"DCGI granting approval to vaccines of @SerumInstIndia and @BharatBiotech accelerates the road to a healthier and COVID-free nation. Congratulations India. Congratulations to our hardworking scientists and innovators," he tweeted.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan termed it a "watershed moment in India's battle against Covid-19".

The World Health Organisation also welcomed the move, saying it will "help intensify and strengthen the fight against the pandemic in the region".

Serum Institute of India's CEO Adar Poonawalla tweeted, "COVISHIELD, India's first COVID-19 vaccine is approved, safe, effective and ready to roll-out in the coming weeks."

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta