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Neeru Chadha: First Indian Woman to Serve International Sea Law Tribunal

Neeru Chadha has been elected as the International Sea Law Tribunal and she will be the First Indian Woman to serve the court

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First Indian Woman in International Sea Law Tribunal
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June 15, 2017: Law expert Neeru Chadha has been elected a judge of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) and will be the first Indian woman to serve on the 21-member court.

On Wednesday, she won a nine-year term on the tribunal that adjudicates disputes arising from the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and agreements between countries that give it jurisdiction.

The tribunal was set up in 1996 and is based in Hamburg, Germany.

Chadha was the only candidate from the Asia-Pacific Group to be elected in the first round of elections where the 168 countries that are parties to UNCLOS voted.

Judge P. Chandrasekhara Rao, the Indian currently on the tribunal, completes his second nine-year-term this year. He served as the President of the Tribunal from 1999 to 2002.

Chadha was the first woman to be the chief legal adviser to the Indian government and her career includes stints as an additional secretary in the External Affairs Ministry and a counselor at India’s UN Mission.

Chadha, who is a legal consultant to the Indian government, has experience of ITLOS from the other side of the bench.

She successfully represented the country before the tribunal in the case brought by Italy demanding the release of two of its marines charged by India with killing two Indian fishermen.

The tribunal refused to order their release.

In the maritime borders dispute between India and Bangladesh, she represented New Delhi at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. The verdict awarding Bangladesh 19,467 sq.km of the contested area in the Bay of Bengal was seen as a victory for Dhaka.

She also represented India in a frivolous case brought in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by the Marshall Islands over what it said was New Delhi’s failure to end the nuclear race.

The ICJ dismissed the Marshall Island’s case.

She has studied at the University of Michigan Law School.

The tribunal has one woman judge, Elsa Kelly of Argentina, and another, Liesbeth Lijnzaad of the Netherlands, was elected on Wednesday along with Chadha.

Kriangsak Kittichaisaree of Thailand was elected by the Asia Pacific Group in the second round of voting.

In elections to another international legal post, Aniruddha Rajput was elected by the UN General Assembly to the International Law Commission last November.

At the International Court of Justice, Judge Dalveer Bhandari’s term ends next February. The judges have a nine-year term, but he was elected to a six-year term to fill a vacancy. (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)