If reports are to be believed, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan is all set to become the chairman of the Executive Board at the World Health Organisation. He is set to take charge on the 22nd of May, reports say.
An unidentified official informed the news agency PTI that the 194 nation World Health Assembly have signed the proposal to appoint India’s nominee to the Executive board. On May 22nd, Vardhan will be formally elected at the Board meeting. The reports say that his taking over the post is just a formality now. Last year, it was decided by the South East Asian group of the World Health Organization that India would be elected as the member state of the executive board for a three-year term. In the same meeting, it was decided that India’s nominee would be appointed as the Executive Board Chairman for the first year.
Not a full-time assignment
The Executive Board Chairman post is held by a person for a period of one year after which it will be rotated among the regional groups. Harsh Vardhan will now succeed Hiroki Nakatani of Japan. In his term, Vardhan will have to chair 34 Executive Board meetings. A senior government official who refused to be named spoke to Hindustan Times and said,
“It is not a full-time assignment. But Vardhan will be required to chair the executive board’s bi-annual meetings.”
The responsibilities of the Executive Board is to implement the decisions and the policies of the Health Assembly and to advise the assembly simultaneously. Vardhan is expected to closely work with the General Director of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Vardhan who currently serves as the Union Minister for Health and Family affairs addressed the 73rd World Health Assembly conference via video on Monday. In the conference, he spoke about the necessary steps India took to contain the virus and the pandemic. Vardhan, as a Union Health Minister, is at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19 and has earlier told that India has done an exceedingly good job to combat the disease. As of Wednesday, India has reported a total of 1,07,685 cases of coronavirus out of which 61.499 are still active. The death toll stands at 3315.