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India and Britain have Bilaterally agreed to Cooperate on Transport Policy

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London, May 12, 2017: India and Britain have bilaterally agreed to cooperate on transport policy and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) will soon be signed between the two countries, officials said on Friday.

The MoU will be signed on bilateral cooperation in urban transport policy planning, technology transfer and institutional organization of transport.

“The decision to enter into a bilateral cooperation arrangement between the Transport For London (TFL) and the Indian Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on a wide range of transport mobility solutions and associated activities in urban environments was taken during the three-day official visit by Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari to Britain,” an official statement said.

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Earlier during his visit to the headquarters of TFL, Gadkari was given a presentation on strategy and policy reforms, customer experience and data analysis in respect of London Buses and other integrated modes of public transport in Greater London area.

Gadkari later said signing of the MOU will be done through diplomatic channels shortly.

According to the officials, there are also possibilities of cooperation on electric buses and water transport, over which discussions were held with the TFL authorities.

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Under the proposed MOU, the TFL will share its expertise on the mobility and efficiency of transport system and methodologies to facilitate the planning and delivery of mobility solutions, including ticketing, passenger information, major project financing, infrastructure maintenance strategies, and behavioural change and public transport promotion.

The TFL provides world class services that keep the British capital better equipped with public transport. The TFL virtually coordinates all the London transport, including London Metro, the bus network, Dockland Light Rail, water transport and cable car. (IANS)

 

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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)