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Kochi Biennale Foundation becomes part of Knowledge Production and Exchange Network

The KBF's tie-up with the institutions from across South Asia and Britain is expected to provide fillip to art in India

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Guided Walks at the Biennale, Image from the website-www.kochimuzirisbiennale.org
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Kochi, Feb 10, 2017: The Kochi Biennale Foundation has joined up with 10 leading contemporary art institutions to create a hub for collaboration in art and become a part of the knowledge production and exchange network.

The KBF’s tie-up with the institutions from across South Asia and Britain is expected to provide fillip to art in India.

In a statement on Friday at the ongoing biennale, the KBF said over a three-year programme of exhibitions and other events, the ‘New North and South’ network would showcase the best of contemporary art in both regions.

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The network would also promote their artistic and intellectual expressions and explore their shared heritage and contested histories.

The initiative sees the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, the Dhaka Art Summit, the Karachi and Lahore Biennales and the Colombo Biennale from the sub-continent come together in partnership with such major contemporary arts organisations from northern Britain as the Manchester Art Gallery, the Whitworth Art Gallery, the Manchester Museum, the Liverpool Biennial and The Tetley art gallery along with the British Council.

“In keeping with its mandate to collaborate and engage, the Foundation is proud to work with a range of partners in South Asia and in the UK on this long term initiative to share knowledge and creativity across the world,” said KBF President Bose Krishnamachari.

“We thank the Arts Council of England for their support and look forward to a productive and shared future,” he said.

The on-ground programme begins in Manchester in March with a retrospective of photographs by Sooni Taraporevala at the Whitworth.

In parallel to the public programmes, the network would facilitate a series of residencies hosted by the Liverpool Biennial. The residencies would enable mid-career artists from South Asia to work with, or be supported by, artists and curators with international reputations.

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Noting that the biennales in South Asia were at the forefront of nurturing new artistic talent in the region, Jim Hollington, Director Arts South Asia, British Council, said, they are delighted to have helped match them with their peers in the North of England.

“The resulting exchange and collaboration will strengthen the institutions and individuals involved, and deepen understanding between people in Britain and South Asia of each other’s creative talent,” said Hollington. (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)