How Is India Inc Helping The Nation Fight Covid?

How Is India Inc Helping The Nation Fight Covid?

While India is grappling with the second wave of Covid 19, Indian Corporate is stepping up and contributing to tackle it. In the past year, major aid came on social and humanitarian grounds. Whereas in 2021, funds are utilized to support the infrastructural demand. From big business houses to niche startups, each firm is donating its bit. Let’s look at some of them.

Crux of the Matter

In one of the most unprecedented times, the Corporate India is stepping up to support not only its employees but also other people. Let’s see how from conglomerates to startup, many companies are doing their bit to tackle Covid-19.

Startups To The Rescue

  • Paytm will continue to pay salary for the current fiscal to the families of its 8 employees who succumbed due to Covid.
  • Zomato will provide 100% of the income to the family of the deceased employees for 2 years.
  • Flipkart will give paid Covid Care Leave of 28 calendar days in case an employee is diagnosed with Covid.
  • Urban Company set up Mohit Agrawal relief fund of ₹1 crore in the memory of the company’s Director of Engineering who died due to Covid-19.
  • Byju’s formed a ₹20 crore fund to support Covid expenses of employees.
  • Unacademy raised $1million Covid Fund to avail free vaccinations to employees and educators.

Infrastructural Aid

  • JSW Steel is supplying 1000 MT of oxygen per day and plans to ramp it further.
  • Reliance Industries is supplying 700 MT of oxygen per day and plans to scale it up to 1000 MT/day.
  • Amazon India airlifted 8,000 oxygen concentrators and 500 bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machines from Singapore.
  • ITC Ltd airlifted 24 cryogenic ISO containers, 20 tonnes each from Asian countries. It is also setting up a 200 bed medical facility in Kolkata.
  • Adani Group imported 4 cryogenic tanks with 80 MT of liquid oxygen from Saudi Arabia.
  • ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India is supplying 200 MT of liquid oxygen per day to Gujarat. They have also set up a 250-bed Covid hospital in Hazira in collaboration with the Gujarat government.

Financial Aid

Tata’s No Limit Covid Care
Tata Trust’s Chairman, Ratan Tata and Tata Group’s Chairman N Chandrasekaran directed to have no limit in Covid funding. The group and trust have collectively pledged ₹2000 crore to date for Covid Care.

Major initiatives include:

  • Converting 1500 hotel rooms in Indian hotels to hospital beds.
  • Tata Projects setting up labour camps with food and stay facilities for migrant workers.
  • Tata Steel supplying up to 800 MT of medical liquid oxygen a day.
  • Tata Trusts organising medical training programmes for volunteers.
  • Collaborating with Linde to airlift oxygen containers from Singapore, China and Dubai to India.

Curiopedia
  • Shah Rukh Khan is the current brand Ambassador of Byju’s. Former co-founder of Facebook, Eduardo Saverin Invested $1 billion in Byju’s in April, 2021. The current evaluation of Byju’s is around $15 billion.
  • Originally Zomato was known by the name of “FoodieBay”. The name of Zomato is a wordplay around the word Tomato.
  • Flipkart was founded by former Amazon employees Sachin and Binny Bansal in October 2007. In 2018, Walmart bought 77% stake in Flipkart for $16 Billion.

History Of US’ Reluctance To Aid India

History Of US Reluctance To Aid India

So finally, US will supply the vaccine ‘raw materials’ to India. However, the process, which included long diplomatic talks as well as request from the Serum Institute CEO, has been a repetition of the past. In that light, let’s look at previous instances of US delaying aid (or actively damaging Indian interests) at crucial points.

Crux of the Matter

Recently

The United States has identified sources of specific raw material urgently required for Indian manufacture of the Covishield vaccine that will immediately be made available for India

Jake Sullivan, US National Security Advisor on 25 April

The release of raw materials for Covid vaccine production came days after criticism from India. On 16 April, even Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla had tweeted:

Other Instances Of US ‘Aid’ To India
Let us have a look at few other instances where US has delayed aid to India at some crucial points.

1971: India-Pakistan War

  • US, under President Nixon, openly backed Pakistan.
  • US brought warships to aid Pakistan. They backed only when USSR brought its ships to aid India.

Nuclear Prohibition In 70s

  • 1978: US ratified Nuclear Nonproliferation Act.
  • It required non-signatories to allow IAEA inspection of their nuclear facilities.
  • India refused, after which US stopped aid in developing nuclear facilities of India.

Supercomputers In 80s

  • US denied India import of Cray Supercomputers.
  • Denied due to nuclear embargo – US believed India would use Supercomputers for combat.
  • Slowed India’s progress even though India developed indigenous PARAM 8000 in 1991.

Cryogenic Engine In 90s

  • Cryogenic engines are considered vital for satellite launches.
  • 1991: Soviet and India signed agreement for cryogenics with ‘transfer of technology’ (ToT).
  • US made Soviet remove ToT, which slowed India’s cryogenic development by years.

Kargil War In ’99

  • India asked GPS information of Kargil as Pakistani army settled in.
  • US refused, depriving India of key info which could have reduced the damage borne in the war.

Curiopedia
  •  The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), with an operational name of NavIC, is an autonomous regional satellite navigation system that provides accurate real-time positioning and timing services. The system was developed partly because access to foreign government-controlled global navigation satellite systems is not guaranteed in hostile situations. 
  • The United States, Russia, Japan, India, France and China are the only countries that have operational cryogenic rocket engines.