Learnings from COVID-19 pandemic response can transform governance: S Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said the learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic response if applied creatively and imaginatively, can transform governance in many societies.

Speaking at the virtual India-Nordic-Baltic Conclave under the theme “An Innovation-driven Partnership for Growth in a New World”, Jaishankar said, “Learnings from the pandemic response if applied creatively and imaginatively can transform governance in many societies. We have direct experience of providing direct financial and material support to our citizens in this period perhaps on a scale unprecedented.”

He further said the real takeaway from this experience is the “importance and ability to respond to the rising expectations of an aspirational society”.

“Where public health was concerned our ability to manufacture required items was only matched by the establishment of dedicated treatment facilities. All of this was underpinned by an amazing societal discipline and public awareness, the results of awareness and motivation. The real takeaway from this experience is the importance and ability to respond to the rising expectations of an aspirational society,” he said.

“This realisation drives the thinking behind Atmanirbhar Bharat — a self-reliant India — that is bringing greater capabilities to bear at the global level. This means policies that will bear entrepreneurship, employment, innovation and skills. It would strike a balance between what we build at home, what the world has to offer and what we can contribute,” he further said.

The EAM also said India’s expectation is that the reforms undertaken in domains like labour, agriculture and education combined with “making it easier to do business, to create start-ups and to promote skilling” will lead to “broader and smoother pathways for international collaboration”.

These avenues will be greener, smarter and more digital, he added. 


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