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Huge rise in citizenship to Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan and Afghanistan under PM Modi

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

In the past one year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA government has provided a shelter in the form of Indian citizenship to more than 4,200 Hindus and Sikhs, who have migrated from Pakistan and Afghanistan. This number is nearly four times greater than the amount of people migrated in last five years.

Statistically comparing both the UPA-II and the NDA government, Congress provided citizenship to 1,023 people in its five years tenure whereas BJP in its one year of incumbency has already provided shelter to 4,230 people, as calculated at the end of April 2015.

BJP clears its aim of providing citizenship by saying that they want to provide refuge to every Hindu who is facing persecution anywhere in the world, much like Israel’s stance towards Jews.

“A natural home for persecuted Hindus” who “shall be welcome to seek refuge,” declared BJP in their 2014 Lok Sabha election manifesto.

On being asked about the reason to provide citizenship to so many people, a Home Ministry spokesperson said, “The numbers of those granted citizenship are miniscule as compared to the country’s population. Government has taken a call resolve the problems being faced by people of Indian origin who in anyway were staying in the country for long.”

Government officials said, settling all the Indian origin citizens back from the neighboring Islamic countries might help the home ministry to expedite long-term visas and citizenship to those fleeing Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Since the BJP government took charge, almost 19,000 migrants have been given long term visas in Madhya Pradesh, 11,000 in Rajasthan, and around 4,000 in Gujarat, as per the officials.

As per the changes occurred in Citizenship Act, faster disposal of citizenship requests have the potential to open up the floodgates, which will eventually swell the number of those eventually allowed to be permanently based in India to around 10 lakhs by December 2016.

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Cepheid to Establish Manufacturing Unit for TB Diagnostics in India

Rifampicin is a drug commonly used in treating TB bacteria in first line of treatment

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The GeneXpert Edge is developed specifically for near-patient testing, to help support a one visit test-and-treat approach.
The GeneXpert Edge is developed specifically for near-patient testing, to help support a one visit test-and-treat approach. (IANS)

Expanding its footprint in India, US-based molecular diagnostics company Cepheid Inc on Thursday announced its plans to establish a manufacturing unit in the country to improve Tuberculosis (TB) diagnostics.

Cepheid’s GeneXpert MTB/RIF test is a closed-cartridge-based system that is easy to operate by minimally trained staff and gives results in approximately two hours, speeding the conventional backlog that used to exist in traditional diagnostic methods.

The new manufacturing unit would produce MTB/RIF test cartridges, contribute to the government’s “Make in India” initiative and thus bringing the company’s global expertise in TB diagnostics to India, the company said in a statement.

As part of the plan, Cepheid also unveiled its latest portable, easy-to-use TB-testing system — the GeneXpert Edge — which is expected to be available in India later this year, the company said.

The GeneXpert Edge is developed specifically for near-patient testing, to help support a one visit test-and-treat approach.

“Cepheid recognises the need for technological advancement and is committed to contributing significantly to India’s goal of TB eradication,” said Peter Farrell, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Operations, Cepheid.

Cepheid's Xpert MTB/RIF test has the potential to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis(MTB)
Cepheid’s Xpert MTB/RIF test has the potential to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis(MTB).

“We are hopeful that GeneXpert Edge will help eliminate delays in TB diagnostics by providing definitive results within hours and facilitating fast and easy last-mile delivery even in the remote villages of India,” he added.

India has nearly one-fourth of the global TB patients and an estimated 4.8 lakh lives are lost every year due to delayed diagnosis and inadequate treatment and there are above 2.5 million new cases of TB every year. The country aims to eradicate TB by 2025.

Approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2010, more than 1,200 Cepheid’s GeneXpert Systems have been installed in the last two years at various Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) sites in the country and more than 2.5 million cartridges were supplied last year at various centres of Central TB Division (CTD).

Also Read: Fruit Bats Identified As Source Of Nipah Virus Outbreak in Kerala

Cepheid’s Xpert MTB/RIF test has the potential to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis(MTB) and rifampicin-resistance mutations, which are markers for MDR-TB strains in under two hours.

Rifampicin is a drug commonly used in treating TB bacteria in first line of treatment.

Xpert MTB/RIF tests also have excellent negative predictive value, which allows clinicians to manage TB-negative patients more effectively to prevent unnecessary and costly respiratory isolations. (IANS)