India to decide on vaccine exports within weeks

India, one of the world's biggest producers of vaccines and generic drugs, is expected to be a key manufacturing center for COVID-19 vaccines.

Jaishankar told the Reuters Next conference that India understood the anxieties of foreign governments about getting the vaccines delivered to their populations.

"We will get clarity pretty soon on what our own consumption is going got be, (what) deployments are going to be. And we will keep our global role very much," he said.

India has to balance the needs of its own population, which is set to receive the first shots this weekend, with that of foreign countries, Jaishankar said, speaking from Delhi at the virtual conference.

"The policy of course is we will start the rollout in India. We have our own challenges," Jaishankar said."A number of countries are in touch with us... and what we are telling them is, look, this is the first month," he added. "The production is now coming into stream. There is a certain amount of stock taking going on."

Along with AstraZeneca's locally branded COVISHIELD, India's drug regulator also cleared an indigenous vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech, jointly developed with a government institute.

Four more vaccines are in clinical trials, Jaishankar said.Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D and Russia's Sputnik V are among those being tested.