The absence of a culture of institutional accountability
Vaccines, modernized healthcare, state-of-the-art testing facilities and public awareness campaigns require adequate funds. A sizeable amount of money for India’s war of survival against the virus is pledged, at least on paper.
For instance, in 2020, the Centre stated that a sum of Rs 900 crore had been earmarked as a grant to the department of biotechnology(DBT) under the aegis of the Union science ministry to develop vaccine candidates. The corpus of the PM CARES was equally impressive.
The money doesnot appear to has been spent judiciously.
The response to an enquiry by an RTI activist has revealed that the DBT has disbursed less than 13 per cent of the funds it received; worse, Rs 100 crore allocated from the PM CARES fund is yet to reach the Union health ministry, the Indian Council of Medical Research and the DBT.
Considerable sums of public money have been collected with the pledge of offering relief: the PM CARES fund is an example. Substantial amounts have also been spent by governments to reassure citizens that measures, such as research on vaccine development, are in place. Yet, the gap between promise and execution is considerable.
This shows the growing strength that drives the absence of a culture of institutional accountability.
A decisive electoral majority makes governments further immune to transparency. On funds to fight COVID, the gap between promise and execution is considerable.
Mission COVID Suraksha was launched to accelerate Indian COVID-19 Vaccine Development. The development of suitable Target Product Profile includes vaccines being introduced through the mission to have preferred characteristics applicable for India. The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology, approved additional funding towards clinical studies for India’s ‘first-of-its-kind' mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, HGCO19, developed by Pune-based Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd.
Given the long history of diseases in India, the country has accumulated years of experience and scientific knowledge to prevent and treat them. Increase in the number of biotech incubators will boost research and promote growth of start-ups. more