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
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 IndiaJake 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.
- 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.
- The Hindu – Coronavirus | U.S. to send raw material for Covishield
- CFR – U.S.-India Relations
- The Economic Times – NavIC: Two decades after US spurned India in Kargil, country replies with desi GPS
- The Week – Joe Biden once said Russia selling space rockets to India was ‘dangerous’
- The Better India – The Little Known Story of How India’s First Indigenous Supercomputer Amazed the World in 1991