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Travel ban by Donald Trump will be boon for Tech Recruitment in country, say Indian-origin tech leaders in Canada

The duo is part of the Canadian technology community that has written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging him to provide visas to those caught by Trump's executive orders

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Toronto, Feb 12, 2017: Indian-origin tech leaders in Canada say the controversial visa and travel restrictions imposed by US President Donald Trump will be a boon for tech recruitment and investment in Canada.

“This provides a great opportunity for the best talent from India to come, live and work in Canada,” said Shafin Diamond Tejani, the CEO of Fantasy 360, a Vancouver-based global leader in creating immersive experiences and games using Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR).

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“We are already getting inquiries from Indian techies, both in India and in the United States, about relocating to Vancouver,” said Tejani, whose family is originally from Gujarat.

Together with his partner Ray Walia, another NRI in Vancouver who runs the not-for-profit tech incubator Launch Academy, Tejani is working on streamlined avenues to attract top tech talent from India.

The duo is part of the Canadian technology community that has written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging him to provide visas to those caught by Trump’s executive orders.

“In choosing to hire, train, and mentor the best people in the world, we can build global companies that grow our economy,” said the letter adding, “By embracing diversity, we can drive innovation to benefit the world.”

Tejani and his associates have a target of bringing a dozen Indian startups with a focus on VR/AR/MR to British Columbia, which also has a shortage of programmers and other skilled IT professionals.

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“We are confident we will be able to this,” said Tejani, whose companies have launched over 40 startups in 21 different countries, employing over 350 people and generating over $100 million in annual revenues.

For Ray Walia, who co-founded Launch Academy in 2012 to become Vancouver’s top startup-incubator, the situation in the US has prompted his group to set up specialised services for Indian techies looking to relocate to Canada.

Walia has developed a programme at Launch Academy that leverages the Canadian Startup Visa Program. The programme helps international startups relocate their head offices to Canada and within six months grant Permanent Residency in Canada for up to five key members of a startup and their family members.

“The Launch Academy Startup Visa Program allows Indians to have the best of both worlds and build their businesses from Canada and continue to not only service the Indian market but also to continue to grow domestic operations in India as well.”

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Analysts predict that India’s IT outsourcing industry, worth around $108 billion and employing some four million people, will start looking elsewhere if the American restrictions are enacted.

Three bills have been introduced in the US Congress seeking to revamp the H-1B visa programme, which India’s IT sector uses to send thousands of highly-skilled workers to America every year. (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)