Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2017

हिंदी करंट अफेयर्स प्रश्नोत्तरी 2017 के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें.

Factbox: Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator

Recently Bugworks Research, a Bengaluru-based biotech startup, became India’s and Asia’s first to receive the international CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator) grant for its antibiotic research and development.

Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance has become global crisis that threatens management of infections, both in community and in hospital practice. The major reasons are indiscriminate use of antibiotics, including against viral infections, prolonged use in patients admitted to hospitals and their abuse in animal husbandry as growth promoters. In hospital critical care units, more than 50% organisms are now resistant even to these drugs.

CARB X

CARB-X is a public-private international partnership set up in 2016 to focus on innovations to improve diagnosis and treatment of drug-resistant infections. It had grown out of US President Barack Obama’s 2015 Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (CARB) initiative. It is funded by London-based biomedical research charity Wellcome Trust and US Health Department’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).

The purpose of CARB X is to provide a new, collaborative approach to speed R&D and delivery of new antibiotics, vaccines, diagnostics, and other innovative products to address urgent global problem of drug-resistant bacterial infections. It will provide grants up to $455 million over a five-year period to firms across globe for antibiotics R&D. All of its funding so far is focused on projects to address most resistant “Gram-negative” bacteria.

Gram-negative bacteria

Bacteria are classified as Gram-positive and Gram-negative, based on a structural difference in their cell walls. Gram-negative bacteria are responsible for 20-25% of bacterial infections and are multi drug resistant i.e. have ability to defend themselves against drugs that try to kill them.

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2nd India-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Council held in New Delhi

The second edition of India-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Council was held in New Delhi. The meeting was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani.

During the meeting, both countries exchanged four pacts in areas of health, transport (motor vehicles agreement), space and new development partnership.

Key Takeaways from Council meeting

The Council discussed a range of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest and shared understanding and convergence of views on them. They agreed to strengthen security cooperation between the two countries.

Peace and reconciliation process: Indian reiterated its support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process. India also agreed to extend further assistance for the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces in fighting terrorism, organized crime, trafficking of narcotics and money laundering.

Connectivity: Development of Chahbahar Port in trilateral cooperation with Iran is being expedited. Both sides stressed on need to make regional Transit and Trade Agreement more inclusive and comprehensive by expanding it both northwards and southwards to connect South Asia with Central Asia.

Developmental Projects: Both sides agreed to take up 116 High Impact Community Development Projects to be implemented in 31 provinces of Afghanistan, including in areas of education, health, agriculture, drinking water, renewable energy, flood control, and administrative infrastructure.

Trade and investment: Both sides agreed to identify products and measures to enhance bilateral trade, including direct trade in gemstones, pharmaceuticals, and agri-products. India announced liberalization of visa measures for Afghan nationals, including decision to grant upto 5 year multiple entry business visa.

Regular meetings: They agreed to have regular meetings of the Joint Working Groups, including to monitor implementation of the decisions taken. They also agreed to hold 3rd meeting of Strategic Partnership Council in Kabul on mutually convenient dates in 2018.

Background

The India-Afghanistan Partnership Council was established according to the Strategic Partnership Agreement signed between both countries in 2011. The council is supposed to meet annually. The first meeting was held in May 2012. Later it was delayed due to elections in India and Afghanistan, as well as other reasons.

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