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Mango Diplomacy through National Fruit of India

Both India and Pakistan recognize Mangoes as the national fruit. It is also a diplomatic approach for the two countries

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Mangoes: National Fruit of India is Mango
It is common to see bright mangoes stocked up during season in India. Wikimedia
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  • Mango is the national fruit of India as well as Pakistan
  • Both countries have also used mango diplomacy, often in the form of gifts to their leaders
  • The two countries compete for the export market of the world

June 12, 2017: Despite political upheaval between the two countries, India and Pakistan love their mangoes. The mangoes from these two nations are popular and thus in demand all over the world. In the early start of the year (February-March) and monsoons, the mangoes are popular and an essential fruit in every home. But it is really about Mango diplomacy.

India grows 1,200 varieties of mangoes while Pakistan grows one-third of that. India is the world’s largest mango producer (13 million tons a year) while Pakistan stands at 5th spot (1.6 million tons).

Historically, the fruit has been given prime importance even by the ‘outsiders’. The plantation of mangoes was encouraged by the Mughals who also used the fruit as a gift to the nobles of the court.

[bctt tweet=”India grows 1,200 varieties of mangoes.” username=”NewsGramdotcom”]

Mangoes were also being exported out of the country by air as well as sea. Bombay was sending crates of mangoes as a gift to Sweden and Holland in an effort to develop mango markets.

As early as 1935, crates of mangoes (along with pearls and nuts) were part of consignments in JRD Tata’s air cargo after the launch of Tata Aviation. The Alfonso mango was selected as the ideal gift by the government to be sent to London by shipment for the crowning of George VI. This may have led to a global demand for mangoes.

The fruit has also carried a diplomatic tradition. It was particularly a favorite for Dr. Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru may have been biased to guavas personally (hailing from Allahabad) but he understood the diplomatic importance of mangoes. Any visit by a foreign leader to India was greeted by gifting mangoes. Nehru also took mangoes when it was his turn to make the visit abroad. In some instances (when it must not have been mango season) Nehru has carried mango saplings to be gifted abroad.

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Particularly different is how mangoes are to be eaten. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev adopted the Indian method of squeezing and then sucking on the fruit. Unlike most leaders who would use spoon and fork, Nikita loved the Indian way.

It has become a cross-border gift for India and Pakistan since the 1980s when Zia ul-Haq exchanged crates of mangoes with the former Indian Prime Minster Indira Gandhi.

On Eid 2015, PM Nawaz Sharif sent 10 kgs of mangoes to Indian PM Narendra Modi. Further, 15 kgs to President Pranab Mukherjee and 10 kgs each to former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Atal Behari Vajpayee was also sent.

It seems Pakistan wants to take its mango diplomacy with India seriously irrespective of the insecurity between the two nations. Every year, India receives Mangoes from Pakistani leaders, but India does not always respond by an exchange.

With security tensions mounting in South Asia, some suggest returning to Mango diplomacy (especially with China) may benefit India.

– by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

 

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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).

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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)