MPs, experts join hands to form COVID-19 action group

New Delhi, April 5 (IANS) Joining hands in the fight against the coronavirus and its impact on various sectors, at least 14 parliamentarians, partners from venture capital funds, organizations and experts working on health and public policy have formed an action group.

The group, to be called the ‘Parliamentarians with Innovators for India' (PIIndia), has 14 MPs from different states and across party lines, an official statement from the orgaisation said on Sunday.

Ghanshyam Tiwari, the former national spokesperson of the Samajwadi Party, is the national coordinator for the Anil Antony from Indian National Congress is the coordinator for the states in South and West; while Rajat Sethi is the coordinator for North, Central and Eastern states.

Among the participants MPs are — GVL Narasimha Rao, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, Kalanidhi Veerasamy, Karti Chidambaram, Kunwar Danish Ali, Manish Tewari and Varun Gandhi among others.

The group has organizations like Population Foundation of India, Centre for Policy Research, Omnicuris, apart from top experts in health and policy, the official statement from the orgaisation said.

“The goals of the Action Group are to mobilize capable teams across India who can work towards building concrete and scalable solutions towards the challenges in public health, economy, livelihoods, and other important areas,” it says.

A call for proposals with public health as the first focus will open on April 7, it said.

“Starting April 15, the action group will meet every Wednesday on video-conference for two hours to select the most impactful solutions that come from innovators across the country.”

The Members of Parliament will help the innovators take the solution to their respective state governments and constituencies, the statement said.

“The venture capital firms and impact funds on the action group will take up the most effective and scalable solutions towards a consideration for funding.”

The health and public policy organizations as well as experts will guide the entire selection process; help organize knowledge workshops and webinars for the group and for general people who are following the action group, it says.

Innovators will be able to submit proposals online on the website ‘' by simply recording a video of their solution.

“The solutions selected every week will be published on the website as well as shared with the press and media.”

The National Action Group will continuously reach out to involve more Members of Parliament to be able to channel the innovations to every district across the country.

“In addition, more people and organizations with expertise will also be invited to participate.”

The mission of the action group is to build a momentum among the professionally capable people in India as well as enable advanced and executable projects focused on immediate public health response to coronavirus in states across India, driven by entrepreneurs, academicians, companies, and other experts, the organisation added.

A nationwide lockdown has been imposed till April 14 due to coronavirus.



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