Webinar by Prof. Sunil Mani

Webinar by Prof. Sunil Mani

Topic: The role of industrial policy in market-friendly economies- Case of COVID-19 vaccine R&D and its manufacturing in India and the USA
Speaker: Professor Sunil Mani, Director and Professor, Centre for Development Studies
Moderator: Professor R Nagaraj, Visiting Professor, CDS
Abstract: Given the public good characteristics of new technologies and especially those contributing to improved health, there is a strong case for state support for R&D and indeed for converting those research results to commercialise products and processes. The state support to the market is even more vital in developing vaccines for the pandemic COVID-19, which has engulfed the whole world and has shattered the economies of countries and lives of ordinary citizens. The paper analyses how the state and the market have responded to the development of vaccines for this pandemic in two countries, India and the USA. India is chosen as it is one of the leading manufacturers of low-cost vaccines, and the USA is selected as it is the top country where systematic R&D on vaccines is carried out. Once again, the analysis drives home the strong case of state support to the market in developing crucial technologies and making them affordable so that a large section of the society can afford them. This is because new technologies also have natural monopoly characteristics as well.   It underlines the importance of invoking industrial policy instruments to support R&D and manufacturing activities by the market. The case of vaccine R&D and manufacturing has given one more shot in the arm of industrial policy, the case for which had been renewed since the global financial crisis