Government has constituted 11 different Empowered groups to suggest measures to ramp up healthcare, put the economy back on track and reduce the misery of people as quickly as possible post 21-day lockdown imposed to contain the Coronavirus pandemic.
Each group has a senior representative from PMO and the Cabinet Secretariat to ensure seamless coordination. These groups have been set up under the Disaster Management Act. The groups have been empowered to formulate plans and to take all necessary steps for their time-bound implementation. The initiative is being viewed as pro-active step by the government to deal with multiple challenges which the outbreak of COVID-19 has posed.
The Empowered Group on Medical Emergency and Management Plan will be headed by NITI Aayog member Dr V Paul, while the Group on Availability of Hospitals, Disease Surveillance and Testing and Critical Care Training will work under the Chairmanship of Environment Secretary C K Mishra.
The Empowered Group on ensuring the availability of essential medical equipment, production Procurement, Import and Distribution will be headed by Pharmaceuticals Secretary P D Vaghela, while the Group on augmenting Human Resources and Capacity Building will function under Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Secretary Arun Panda. Drinking Water Secretary Parameswaran Iyer will lead the Group on Facilitating Supply Chain and Logistics Management for availability of necessary items.
CEO NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant will head the Group on coordinating with the private sector. The Group on Economic and Welfare measures will function under Economic Affairs Secretary Atanu Chakraborty and Information and Broadcasting Secretary Ravi Mittal will head the Group on Information, Communication and Public Awareness.
Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY ) Secretary Ajay Sawhney look after the Group on Technology and Data Management, HRD Secretary Amit Khare will head the panel on Public Grievances while Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla will head the Empowered Group constituted on Strategic issues relating to Lockdown.