AIR Spotlight - Global Cowin Conclave

AIR Spotlight is an insightful programme featured daily on the All India Radio Newsonair. In this program, many eminent panelists discuss issues of importance which can be quite helpful in IAS exam preparation. In this article, the topic of discussion is the Global Cowin Conclave that was held by India.

Participants: 

  • Ashok Tandon, Political analyst.
  • Nilabh Srivastava, Journalist.

Introduction:

The coronavirus outbreak in 2019 in Wuhan city of China has reached all parts of the world and wreaked havoc. In 2021, vaccinations have been started to deal with the pandemic. The challenge of the COVID pandemic is still big and to deal with this, the Global Cowin Conclave was organized. 

The Cowin platform:

  • Cowin stands for Covid Vaccine Intelligent Network. The platform was unveiled by the union government in January 2021 to launch a vaccine drive across the country.
  • The Cowin website was created to give users a chance to book vaccine slots, keep a track of the overall vaccination drive in the country and download the Covid-19 vaccine certificate.
  • At the backend, it also allows healthcare providers to manage vaccine stock and keep a track of the workflow.

The  Global Cowin Conclave:

  • The Global Cowin Conclave aims to share India’s experience regarding universal vaccination to combat Covid-19 through CoWin.
  • There was participation of health and technology experts from across the globe.
  • The aim of the conclave was to provide a platform for countries to share experiences about universal vaccination and the risks associated with fighting the pandemic.
  • The idea was to make the fight against COVID a joint effort.

Prime Minister’s address to the Global Cowin Conclave:

  • India believes that until everyone is vaccinated, no one is safe. The conclave was also addressed by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
  • The Cowin conclave is a digital platform that has been adopted by more than 50 countries such as Canada, Mexico, Nigeria, and others.
  • The Prime Minister stated that the Cowin platform that is being used in India has been made open-source. It means that other countries can develop this technology.
  • With this, India will now provide Cowin, a vaccine registration platform, as a digital public good to other nations to conduct their own vaccination drive against the coronavirus disease.
  • Speaking at the conclave, the Prime Minister stated that India believes in ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ i,e the whole world is a family. The pandemic has strengthened this resolve and that is why India is making this Cowin platform open source. He also stated that India is committed to sharing all expertise and resources with the world in fighting this pandemic.
  • No country however powerful can fight the pandemic in isolation. Technology is an integral part of our fight against the pandemic and software development has no resource constraints. That is why India is making the Cowin platform open source as soon as possible.
  • The Prime Minister also lauded the success of the Arogya setu application which has over 200 million users.
  • In the conclave, India’s digital approach to vaccines was the main thrust. The Prime Minister stated that India has adopted a completely digital approach for vaccination.
  • Everyone vaccinated against COVID gets a certificate through the Cowin platform and this has helped in normalizing the post-pandemic globalized world. 
  • Through the Cowin platform, India has successfully vaccinated 350 million people including 9 million in one day.
  • The Prime Minister further stated that guided by the ‘one health one earth’ approach, the world will successfully fight the pandemic.

The present assessment of the COVID-19 situation:

  • Across the globe, there are more than 18 crore COVID cases and more than 40 lakh deaths. In India, more than 3 crore cases have been registered with more than 3 lakh deaths.
  • Even today, more than 40,000 cases are being reported although the number of positive cases has gone down drastically.
  • Supply and wastage of vaccines are of prime concern, which the digital approach to fight the pandemic has minimized.
  • With the help of the Cowin platform, India is vaccinating a population almost equal to that of Australia every day.
  • Lockdowns are being uplifted gradually and economic activities are increasing.
  • Presently there are three vaccines available in India for COVID and more are in the pipeline.
  • Now, the cases are declining very rapidly.
  • However, the bottom line is that we still need to be careful as there is apprehension for the third wave.
  • Though all the agencies are well prepared for the third wave, the fight depends on the behaviour of the people.
  • Vaccines are the most important weapon to tackle the future effects of the COVID pandemic.

Conclusion

India has made a long stride from being called ‘living in a bullock-cart age’ to developing and deploying the Arogya setu and Cowin platform to fight the pandemic in record time. India is now being hailed as an ‘IT guru’. India is among the very few countries that have made use of the digital approach to vaccination. The decision to make CoWin an open-source is a vindication of India’s leadership in fighting the pandemic.

Read more Gist of AIR Spotlight here.

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