The Parliament's Consultative Committee on External Affairs met on Friday to discuss a whole host of issues from India's global vaccine policy to China's influence over the 'QUAD' grouping.

The 21-member Parliamentary committee, chaired by Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, was unanimous and lavish in its praise of the latter and the Ministry of External Affairs for its efforts to clearly enunciate India's vaccine policy worldwide.

Words of praise were showered on the External Affairs Ministry for India's 'Vaccine Maitri' program and its conduct in the face of discriminatory restrictions against Indian-made vaccines by foreign nations like Britain and the World Health Organisation's delay in according its nod to Bharat Biotech's Covaxin. A senior Member of Parliament also lauded MEA for being on call for Indian nationals overseas during the pandemic.

At the meeting, some members raised the issue of RT-PCR tests being conducted at airports upon arrival from international destinations, calling the process cumbersome and unnecessary when everyone travelling is fully vaccinated and is mandated to get the same tests done ahead of boarding their flights already.

On the subject of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or the 'QUAD' grouping (comprising of India, United States, Japan and Australia), sources said the External Affairs Minister emphasised that the government is focussed on the grouping. But it was also indicated that the QUAD doesn't want to base its relations around the subject of 'China', thereby legitimising the latter's perceived threat factor.

Speaking of the AUKUS or the tripartite security pact between Australia, United Kingdom and the United States of America, sources said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar highlighted it was only restricted to a submarines deal.

When it came to the subject of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation), some members who spoke to India Today Television on condition of anonymity quoted the External Affairs Minister as saying that the South Asian nations grouping was heading nowhere because of Pakistan's behaviour, which he claimed was akin to "on weekends, they’ll send us terrorists, and the over the rest five days, they’ll want to talk business."

The 19th SAARC Summit, which was to be held in Pakistan in November 2016 was called off as India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan decided to boycott it over a Pakistan-sponsored terrorist attack on an army camp in Kashmir's Uri.