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Punjab set to become 1st Indian state to join Global COVAX Alliance

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Punjab to join global COVAX alliance to procure anti-Covid vaccinesPunjab is set to become the 1st Indian state to join the Global COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access) Alliance. Joining the Alliance will help Punjab to address the Anti-Covid-19 vaccine shortage & to procure vaccines at the best price.

  • The decision to join the Global COVAX Alliance was taken during a virtual Cabinet meeting headed by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
  • Across India, several states are facing shortage of COVID-19 vaccines, this has prompted state governments to float global tender for procuring vaccines.


i.It is an global initiative co-led by Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), GAVI Alliance (formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation), World Health Organization (WHO), and key delivery partner UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund).

  • Its main objective is to accelerate the development & manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines & guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.
  • In October 2020, WHO had stated around 180 countries had joined the COVAX program.
  • Its aim is to deliver 2 billion doses of effective, approved COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.

ii.It is one of the 3 pillars of the ACT Accelerator (Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator), which is a cross-discipline support structure to enable countries to share resources/knowledge about COVID-19.

Punjab Cabinet approves Punjab Prison Rules, 2021

The Punjab Cabinet has approved the ‘Punjab Prison Rules, 2021’ under the Prisons Act, 1894. It will replace the Punjab Jail Manual, 1996.

i.The new rules will give emphasis on safe and secure custody of prisoners, it will also ensure welfare, corrections, aftercare (rehabilitation & social reintegration of released inmates), and educational programmes for prisoners.

ii.It has taken into account the modernisation, prison computerisation, current technologies and latest laws.

iii.The new law has introduced new security parameters to ensure surveillance, safe custody and prevention of escapes.

iv.Other features – vocational training & skill development of inmates,  grievance redressal system by setting up complaint boxes in every prison, and provision for electronic communication.

Recent Related News:

i.August 22, 2020, In order to provide rapid, fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide, WHO invited countries to join its COVAX facility by August 31, 2020.

ii.On December 29, 2020 GAVI,the vaccine alliance nominated Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare as a member on the GAVI Board.

About Punjab

Chief Minister – Amarinder Singh
Governor – V. P. Singh Badnore
Capital – Chandigarh

About World Health Organization (WHO)

Director-General –  Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland

About GAVI

Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland & Washington D.C., United States (U.S.)
Chair of the Board – José Manuel Barroso
Members of the Board– 28

About Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)  Foundation:

CEO – Richard J. Hatchett
Headquarters – Oslo, Norway


Executive Director – Henrietta Holsman Fore
Headquarters – New York, United States of America