Empowered group set up to collaborate with private sector, NGOs

Cross-sectoral dialogue on production of health equipment and PPEs to fight pandemic

April 05, 2020 06:17 pm | Updated 10:53 pm IST

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. File

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. File

The government on Sunday said it set up an empowered group, chaired by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, to undertake discussions with the private sector and international organisations on actions planned and challenges faced in dealing with COVID-19 .

Also read: Coronavirus | Empowered Group of Officers set up to deal with various challenges

The empowered group — constituted on March 29, has already had several rounds of meetings with U.N. agencies, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the civil society organisations and development partners, and industry associations such as the CII, FICCI, Assocham and Nasscom on “their contribution to the response, their plans for the coming weeks and the issues they are facing, and their expectations from the government”.

The members of the Committee include Principal Scientific Adviser Dr Vijayaraghavan, Kamal Kishore (Member, NDMA), Sandeep Mohan Bhatnagar (Member, CBIC), Anil Malik (Additional Secretary, MHA), Vikram Doraiswami (Additional Secretary, MEA); P. Harish (Additional Secretary, MEA); Gopal Baglay (Joint Secretary, PMO); Aishvarya Singh (Deputy Secretary, PMO) and Tina Soni (Deputy Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat).

Since March 30, the panel has conducted six meetings, in which “all 3 groups have proactively pointed out the areas where they need support which the government is following up. They have also been put in touch with other empowered groups for faster and more effective response and coordination”.

Mr. Kant has also reached out to over 92,000 NGOs/civil society organisations, appealing to them to assist the government in identifying hotspots, deputing volunteers and care givers to deliver services to the elderly, persons with disabilities, children, transgender persons and other vulnerable groups and create awareness about prevention and combating stigma. He has also requested them to provide shelter to homeless, daily wage workers and urban poor families and set up community kitchens for migrants.

Also read: Coronavirus | Dharavi emerges as COVID-19 hotspot

“The committee has opened up cross-sectoral dialogue within the private sector and start ups to engender collaboration among them to produce health equipment and PPEs,” the release said, adding that start-ups such as AgVa, Biodesign Innovation Lab, Kaeaenaat, Qure AIDrona Maps, mFine, MicroGo and Staqu, who are working on innovative ventilator designs, testing tools, and tracking solutions have been contacted separately to understand their scale and possible contributions.

“Further, synergies have been created by linking the specific issues raised by connecting the industry to other Empowered Groups dealing with procurement, logistics and several other EGs,” the statement said.

It also noted that following the discussion with international organisations on providing technical support in monitoring and surveillance systems, strengthening health and nutritional services, capacity building, financial resources and critical equipment support, the U.N. in India has submitted a Joint Programme Response Plan to the NITI Aayog, defining their clear activities and deliverables in different sectors and States, where they are partnering with the Union Ministries and the State governments.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.