China on the horizon as ‘world’s pharmacy

China, Demographic

China on the horizon as ‘world’s pharmacy

The World Health Organisation’s approval Friday for China’s COVID-19 vaccine known as Sinopharm dramatically transforms the ecosystem of the pandemic. In immediate terms, this has potential to boost global vaccine supply, as China’s overall yearly production capacity is approaching five billion doses.

The western pharmaceutical industry’s monopoly has been breached, as Sinopharm’s is the first COVID-19 vaccine developed by a developing country to be validated by the WHO and only the sixth approved for emergency use globally–in fact, the only non-western vaccine so far. Literally, China has gatecrashed the aggressively-guarded orchard of powerful western pharmaceutical companies. In practical terms, the WHO approval allows China to enter the portals of the COVAX as a qualified supplier.

Read More

 

A Country Gasping for Air

Demographic, India

A Country Gasping for Air

Indians Pay the Price of Government Inaction as COVID-19 Surges

It feels like the end times in New Delhi. Ambulance sirens blare through the night, a constant reminder of the unbelievable tragedy unfolding in the city. India is currently experiencing a devastating, record-breaking second wave of COVID-19, with the capital especially hard hit. Every night ushers in a now sadly familiar ordeal. Desperately sick patients go from hospital to hospital, begging for oxygen. The hospitals, with only hours of oxygen to spare for their own patients, turn the afflicted away. Relatives and friends post urgent pleas on social media, trying in vain to source the third most abundant element in the universe. But not for love of God or money is there any oxygen to be had in the city.

Read More

 

Factory to the World?

Demographic, India

Factory to the World?

The Production Linked Incentive Scheme aims to build an Indian manufacturing base across 13 key sectors. What works. What doesn’t

On March 10, the $274 billion, Cupertino, California-based Apple Inc. announced it is starting production of the 5G-compatible iPhone 12 in India. It appeared like a routine announcement. After all, Apple has been assembling older generation iPhones in India through contract manufacturers since 2017. It wasn’t.

It might have been a small step for Apple but was a giant leap for Indian manufacturing. India’s new Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme to reduce import dependence and promote local manufacturing had lured three of Apple’s Taiwanese original equipment manufacturers – Foxconnn Hon Hai, Wistron and Pegatron – to pump in millions of dollars to expand Indian facilities. They will move a step up from assembling imported parts here to making or sourcing more components locally. Like Apple, about 70 firms have shown interest in availing the PLI Scheme to set up manufacturing facilities in three key sectors: mobile and electronic components; pharma-APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients); KSM (key starting materials) and medical devices.

Read More

India-China dispute: The border row explained in 400 words

China, Demographic, India

India-China dispute: The border row explained in 400 words

Relations between India and China have been worsening in recent months. The two world powers are facing off against each other along their disputed border in the Himalayan region.

In 400 words, here’s some background to help you understand what’s going on.

What’s the source of tension?

The root cause is an ill-defined, 3,440km (2,100-mile)-long disputed border.Rivers, lakes and snowcaps along the frontier mean the line can shift, bringing soldiers face to face at many points, sparking a confrontation.

The two nations are also competing to build infrastructure along the border, which is also known as the Line of Actual Control. India’s construction of a new road to a high-altitude air base is seen as one of the main triggers for a clash with Chinese troops in June that left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead.