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No plastic Flag, no disrespect to tricolour, says home ministry on the eve of Independence Day

The Home Ministry also sought strict compliance with the provisions of the Flag Code of India, 2002, and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971

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Flag of India. Image source: www.techicy.com
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New Delhi, August 14, 2016: On the eve of India’s 70th Independence Day, national and patriotic fervour is quite evident among the people. But while displaying the commitment to the nation, one must ensure that they do not dishonour or insult the National Flag or other symbols of national honour.

In an advisory to the central and state governments on Sunday, the Home Ministry has reminded them to ensure only flags made of paper are used by the public, and that such paper flags are not discarded or thrown on the ground after the national, cultural and sports events.

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Such flags for public display and for the day’s events should not be made of plastic, the advisory has said and asked state administrations to reiterate this in advertisements in electronic and print media.

India Flag lying on the ground. Image source: womenpla.net
India Flag lying on the ground. Image source: womenpla.net

The Home Ministry also sought strict compliance with the provisions of the Flag Code of India, 2002, and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.

“Since plastic flags are not biodegradable like paper flags, these do not get decomposed for a long time and ensuring appropriate disposal of national flags made of plastic commensurate with the dignity of the flag, is a practical problem,” it said.

“Such (paper) flags are to be disposed of, in private, consistent with the dignity of the flag. Wide publicity, for not using the National Flag made of plastic, should be made along with its advertisement in the electronic and print media,” it said.

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The Section 2 of The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, lays down that “whoever in any public place or in any other place within public view bums, mutilates, defaces, defiles, disfigures, destroys, tramples upon or otherwise shows disrespect to or brings into contempt (whether by words, either spoken or written, or by acts) the Indian national flag or any part thereof, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine, or with both”.

The advisory reiterates that the national flag represents the “hopes and aspirations” of the people of the country and hence should occupy a position of honour. (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)