File photo: The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi joining office on May 27, 2014.
The National Democratic Alliance government led by the Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi completed one year on May 26, 2015. A year before on the same day, there was euphoria over new governance and progress that could possibly usher in India as a result of a majority stable government after a long time. Having been underestimated for long, the biotech sector was no different with the industry leaders and associations expressing optimism on change of fortunes. A galore of demands too was spoken of. So, have even few of these met or the challenges remain the same? This is a question which may get answered while we take a look at the few decisions taken by the government.
Even though the review of policies so far have not been on the massive, most agree that the style of governance has witnessed a sea change. Launch of new programmes such as ‘Make in India' and Swach Bharat' has exhibited the government's will to bring in change. These have found good connect with the industry leaders who have lauded such initiatives.
For the health sector, the highlight of the year was certainly the release of the draft National Health Policy that recognised the relevance of medical technologies for a robust healthcare delivery system. The ‘Make in India' campaign runs on science and technology, research and development, new processes, precision technology, innovation and skill and has tremendous potential to showcase talent of Indians working in life science domain and beyond.
As per Dr Manu Jaggi, chief scientific officer, Dabur Research Foundation, "Modi government has taken some proactive steps in last one year, which has had a positive impact on the pharma industry. Allowing up to 100 percent FDI in medical devices in the pharmaceutical sector is a positive move. This is likely to attract more investments and boost the domestic manufacturing. Provision of essential medicines at lower rates is also a welcome step from which many will benefit. In the last one year, more than 300 life saving medicines which are used to treat life threatening diseases have been brought under drug price control by the Modi government."
Dr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, chairperson, Biocon feels that national interest is foremost. In one of her tweets, she mentioned, "Partisan politics must stop and focus should be on important national needs. GST is an urgent need of the hour."