Parakh – Unified Laboratory Network

Launched by DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce, Govt of India – National Network of Laboratories Infrastructure

What is #Parakh ?

#Parakh is a Government of India initiative for mapping of testing and laboratory infrastructure across the country on a unified network of testing laboratories. This is yet another significant step towards enhancing Ease of Doing Business. This portal incorporates all the accredited and recognised laboratories in the country on a Geographic Information System.

This is an interactive and user friendly system to find a Laboratories and Tests based on various parameters a user may require.

This program is a joint initiative of various boards, councils as mentioned below :

MSME
CSIR
DRDO
Textile Committee
NABL
Bureau of Indian Standards
FSSAI
Export Inspection Council, EIC India
APEDA

All types of Testing, Calibration Laboratories which are Recognised and Accredited are found in the portal.

This is an initiative which will benefit all citizens, user communities to have access to information related to various testing labs in the country that tests products or services.

Pandemic crisis has brought out this huge gap in the country’s lab infrastructure related information where no information was available about testing labs for PPEs, Ventilators, various other medical devices, Covid testing labs etc. All stakeholders were shunted from pillar to post hunting to testing labs information. Intense debates, discussions had taken place about lack of information about National Testing Labs Infrastructure. That’s how DPIIT has initiated the process to create the National Network of Laboratories which will immensely benefit not only domestic trade but International Trade as well.

Portal currently has a list of :

  • 6581 laboratories offering testing services related to
    • 60558 products and services
    • following 367209 Test Methods

All Laboratories in the country are open to get their laboratories listed in the portal.

Source – https://parakh.ncog.gov.in/indexpage

World Accreditation Day 2021

Accreditation Day Greetings to All Stakeholders

World Accreditation Day 2021

Theme – Accreditation: Supporting the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

09 June 2021 marks World Accreditation Day (#WAD2021), a global initiative established by IAF and ILAC to promote the value of accreditation. This year’s theme is Accreditation: Supporting the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The SDGs are at the core of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a broad and ambitious plan of action with the overarching objective of leaving no one behind. Accreditation, in collaboration with other quality infrastructure institutions, provides the technical foundations that are critical to the functioning of developed and developing societies. It enables industrial development, trade competitiveness in global markets, efficient use of natural and human resources, food safety, and health and environmental protection.

Global Businesses are getting into implementing Sustainable Business Solutions, following Sustainable Business Practices. ISO has released many Management Systems Standards in the recent years for businesses to learn, implement internally.

These are linked to CSR Reporting, ESG Reporting and Sustainability Reporting for Listed companies and top 1000 companies with high market capitalisation in stock exchange in India.

Sustainability Accounting Norms are already released globally for reporting in organisations Accounting Audit Reports.

Recently we saw some Global Investors making announcements on their Investment priorities in India where the Investors said their investment decisions will be linked to the sustainable business practices adopted by businesses.

Businesses of all sizes – MSMEs or large scale orgns need to LEARN, UNDERSTAND, IMPLEMENT these solutions internally to ensure the Health and Wellbeing of Communities which will become the Global Priority now.

Its hightime that Accounting Professionals , Management Systems Consultants join hands together to deliver good Sustainable Business Practices, Solutions to businesses .

Value Added , in its 30 years of Consulting journey, had seen the saga of Certifications, Accreditations and impact made by these market place recognition programs on businesses for their business growth. We have facilitated , guided more than 500 + organisations to implement multiple Management Systems Certifications, Accreditation Programs fro many sectors.

It would be interesting to see the rise and Sustainable Business Practices at the market place from now.

We shall be organising series of Knowledge Sessions on these Standards and how these get integrated into the business practices of organisations.

Happy Accreditation Day Celebrations to Industry and Stakeholders !

World Accreditation Day 2021 Celebrations

Word Accreditation Day Celebrations 2021 – Organised by Consultants Consortium of Chennai

World Accreditation Day 2021

Theme – Accreditation: Supporting the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

09 June 2021 marks World Accreditation Day (#WAD2021), a global initiative established by IAF and ILAC to promote the value of accreditation. This year’s theme is Accreditation: Supporting the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The SDGs are at the core of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a broad and ambitious plan of action with the overarching objective of leaving no one behind. Accreditation, in collaboration with other quality infrastructure institutions, provides the technical foundations that are critical to the functioning of developed and developing societies. It enables industrial development, trade competitiveness in global markets, efficient use of natural and human resources, food safety, and health and environmental protection.

IAF and ILAC have published a joint WAD 2021 statement by the IAF and ILAC Chairs, a brochure and a poster:

In addition, three videos with the themes of People, Planet and Prosperity will be released on the IAF-ILAC Youtube channel in mid-May. These three pillars group the SDGs according to common goals and are reflective of publications from UNIDOOECD and UNDP.

The Public Sector Assurance and Business Benefits websites, which contain case studies, research and supporting materials demonstrating the benefits and value of accreditation, also now feature an option for searching by SDG. 

While the COVID-19 pandemic may again disrupt physical WAD events, we encourage everyone to celebrate with us online using the hashtag #WAD2021 and to contact your local accreditation body for further details on local media and online seminars and programs they may be organising.

Source : https://www.iaf.nu/articles/World_Accreditation_Day_2021/685

About Consultants Consortium of Chennai – CCC :

Consultants Consortium of Chennai (CCC) is an Association of Management Systems Consultants, registered under the Tamil nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975.

The Key Objective of CCC is to work in alignment with the National Quality Mission launched by the Government of India by educating the industry about the role and importance of Standards, Certifications and Regulations in the country as well as in the global markets.

CCC strives to encourage Responsible Consulting through Members of its Association and focus is to Standardize Consulting Practices in alignment with changing market and industry needs in a dynamic manner.

The focus is also to identify areas and industries in which the consultants in the profession of Management Systems Consulting can contribute to the betterment of the society and the country and to promote Management Systems Consulting in such areas or industries.

One of the core objectives is to collaborate with various Industry platforms, Trade Associations, Chambers of Commerce, Management Associations, Apex Bodies of Government or Quasi Government Organization to contribute to the betterment of the industry initiatives, which will in turn contribute to the betterment of the society.

Webinar Series organised by CCC :

CCC has organised #WAD2020 successfully. Same initiative is planned by CCC for 2021 as well.
CCC has tentatively scheduled a week long sessions with following topics :

Registrations :

Entry is free for all Management Systems Consultants, Technical Experts, Industry Experts, Professionals, Industry Members, Academia , Students, Members of Trade & Industry Associations

Program Dates are listed above.

Registration Link :

Prior Regn is a MUST for Participation. All regd participants will get email confirmations 2 days before the commencement of the sessions.

For queries on Regns, email can be sent to :

Ms Rama Venugopal – contact@ccc-consultants.org – +919840870532
Mr D Srikanthan – secretariat@ccc-consultants.org – +919003056539

Do visit CCC Website for regular updates – http://ccc-consultants.org/wad-2021-celebrations/

Value Added turned 30 years !

Entering into 31st year in Consulting Business

Value Added has turned 30 years in Business Consulting and entering into its 31st year.

A startup 30 years ago which was laid with a strong foundation with a vision to offer Corporate Consulting Services to Businesses. Organisation was built with strong business values, customer focus right from the day one and these were never compromised in any situation, however compelling the business case was .

First decade of Value Added was ripe with Financial Consulting Services offering businesses with Syndication Services to businesses . Foundation for Management Systems Consulting was laid 20 years ago when Value Added roped in Engineers to help businesses improve their operational efficiencies , productivity using multiple Management Systems Standards.

Next 2 decades of Value Added saw us setting out foot into multiple sectors like Manufacturing, IT/ITES, Healthcare, Retail and Other Services Sectors guiding businesses to implement various Management Systems Standards to improve their business performance.

We established a good connect with Growth Stage Businesses and its this segment which has realised the benefit of having businesses processes, systems well defined to improve their employees productivity and deliver good product or service to the satisfaction of their customers. Management Systems Standards have in built customer focus which has helped businesses to focus more on customer satisfaction.

Around the same period, we had strengthened our position in offering Strategic Business Advisory Services to the same growth stage companies advising on M&As, Funding Advisories, JVs, Market Feasibility Studies, Business Growth Advisories, Business Valuations, Business Due Diligence Audits etc.

30 years journey taught us the need to be agile all the time, catering to market needs by offering products or solutions that are needed by the markets, creating a pool of consultants to deliver the same.

NxtGen Business Solutions need to focus on building Digital Elements into the business – every functional domain of the business and overall business focus will have strong digital element embedded into organisational DNA. Businesses have huge #upskilling #reskilling of employees to go Digital. Its hightime for businesses to employ young executives with digital tools knowledge into businesses which is the need of the hour now. Internalisation of Digitital Connect with Customers , stakeholders in the business is the key.

Its time for pivot for Value Added too. We are on a mission to add pool of young Consultants who shall work along with Other Consultants to help businesses Go Digital.

Looking forward to the next innings ! The Value Added Saga will continue. We still continue to maintain the same Business Values, Customer Focus and no compromise on the same.

We take this opportunity to thank all our Customers, Employees, Consultants, Service Providers who believed in us and were part of this journey . We could come this far only with their support . We are blessed to have divine blessings too !

Praying for the Covid 19 to come to a quick closure so that we as humans can focus on our routine and focus on rebuilding many things again .

Request all to take care, stay safe !

Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) expanded

ECLGS 4.0 for onsite oxygen generation, wider coverage of ECLGS 3.0 and increase in tenorfor ECLGS 1.0

ANNOUNCEMENT MADE ON 30 MAY 2021 BY PIBECLGS Scheme

On account of the disruptions caused by the second wave of COVID 19 pandemic to businesses across
various sectors of the economy,Government has further enlarged the scope of Emergency Credit Line
Guarantee Scheme as under:

(i) ECLGS 4.0:100% guarantee cover to loans up to Rs.2 crore to hospitals/nursing homes/clinics/medical colleges for setting up on-site oxygen generation plants, interest rate capped at 7.5%;

(ii) Borrowers who are eligible for restructuring as per RBI guidelines of May 05, 2021 and had availed loans under ECLGS 1.0 of overall tenure of four years comprising of repayment of interest only during the first 12 months withrepayment of principal and interest in 36 months thereafter will now be able to avail a tenure of five years for their ECLGS loan i.e. repayment of interest only for the first 24 months with repayment of principal and interest in 36 months thereafter;

(iii) Additional ECLGS assistance of upto 10% of the outstanding as on February 29, 2020 to borrowers covered under ECLGS 1.0, in tandem with restructuring as per RBI guidelines of May 05, 2021;

(iv) Current ceiling of Rs. 500 Cr. of loan outstanding for eligibility under ECLGS 3.0 to be removed, subject to maximum additional ECLGS assistance to each borrower being limited to 40% or Rs.200 crore, whichever is lower;

(v) Civil Aviation sector to be eligible under ECLGS 3.0

(vi) Validity of ECLGS extended to 30.09.2021 or till guarantees for an amount of Rs.3 lakh crore are Issued. Disbursement under the scheme permittedup to31.12.2021.

The modifications in ECLGS,would enhance the utility and impact of ECLGS by providing additional support
to MSMEs, safeguarding livelihoods and helping in seamless resumption of business activity. These changes
will further facilitate flow of institutional credit at reasonable terms.

Detailed operational guidelines in this regard are being separately issued by the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company (NCGTC).

Sources : https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1708709

More Information available at :

ECLGS Website – https://www.eclgs.com/

Download the Operational Guidelines of the Scheme from here

Download the FAQs on the scheme from here

Accreditation of SARS-CoV-2

Announcement from NABL on Covid 19 Testing

Accepting applications for accreditation of SARS-CoV-2Announcement Released on 25th May 2021

NABL is accepting applications from laboratories performing Real Time RT PCR Test, RT LAMP Assay, CRISPR – Cas9 based assay, Isothermal Nucleic Acid Amplification test (Closed System) for SARS-CoV-2. Laboratories may apply directly for accreditation of SARS-C0V-2 by different methods.

The laboratories which have been granted accreditation for Real Time RT PCR Test for other RNA viruses during the Final Assessment are advised to apply for accreditation of SARS-CoV-2 during the Onsite Surveillance or earlier.

The laboratories which have been granted accreditation for Real Time RT PCR Test for other RNA viruses during scope extension are advised to apply for accreditation of SARS-CoV-2 during the Renewal of accreditation or earlier.

Download the Announcement from here

Source : https://nabl-india.org/news-announcements/

Medical Testing Labs Quality Infrastructure

Medical Testing Labs Quality Infrastructure in India

Covid 19 Testing Criteria – Introduction of Rapid Antigen Testing by ICMR

ICMR is the Regulator for monitoring Covid Testing Strategy in the country.

Testing Strategy for Testing masses has undergone many changes in a dynamic manner since the beginning of the pandemic in the country.

ICMR has introduced Accreditation of the Med Testing Labs by NABL, as the eligibility criteria for Labs to conduct Testing .

Accessibility of Testing Labs to communities became the biggest stumbling block. Lots of calls, conversations across the markets asking for testing access. Urban markets stopped responding at some point, as the pressure became too much. Semi urban and rural markets didn’t have any access to testing at all.

Why are the labs not doing testing ?
Why is it that the testing facilities are not accessible to all ?
Who can actually do the Testing ?
Where are Testing Labs ?

The above were the questions asked by many on daily basis.

I have written an article in the News Letter of Andhra Chamber of Commerce about ICMR’s announcement about allowing only Accredited Labs in the country to do testing, the current Quality Infrastructure of Medical Labs in the country which actually determines the eligibility of the labs to qualify for testing. Its this lack of Quality Testing Infrastructure in the country that has restricted Medical Labs to qualify for Covid 19 Testing criteria.

ICMR has recently relaxed the norms to increase accessibility of basic Covid screening Test to all and introduced Rapid Antigen Test (Screening Test) as well to reduce the dependence on RTPCR Testing. This will ensure that screening test is made available to all.

Sharing the article published in Andhra Chamber of Commerce’s News Bulletin here .

Source : https://andhrachamber.com/pub/E-Bulletin_May_2021.pdf

About the Author

Ms Rama Venugopal
Executive Director
Value Added Corporate Services P Ltd

Email – rama@valueadded.in

Announcement from NABL

QR Code in Test Reports / Calibration Certificates Made Mandatory

Mandatory QR Code in Test Reports issued by Medical Labs Announcement from NABL

QR Code on the Medical Test Reports Medical laboratories may note that, in a memorandum issued on 13.05.2021 by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, it is mandatory for travellers flying abroad to carry their negative RT-PCR test report having QR codes linking to the original report.

Medical Laboratories should provide QR code on all test reports issued which can be scanned using any QR scanning application available on mobile / any devices to authenticate and reproduce the test report online. This will prevent the manipulation of test results & the usage of fake test reports.

Laboratories to ensure that all the requirements of ISO 15189, NABL, regulators are met. Authorized test results in a tamper-proof and non-editable test report will build trust in laboratory results.

Download the advisory from NABL here

Mandatory QR Code on the Test Reports issued by Testing Labs / Calibration Certificates issued by Calibration Labs

Labs should provide QR code on all test reports/calibration certificates issued which can be scanned using any QR scanning application available on mobile / any devices to authenticate and reproduce the test report/calibration certificate online.

This will prevent the manipulation of test results/calibration data & the circulation of forged test report/calibration certificate in the market. Interest of the consumer / end user of the product and the reputation /Image of the lab are also protected.

Download the advisory from NABL here

Source : https://nabl-india.org/

Advisory on Oxygen Concentrators from CDSCO

COVID-19 case management in Home Settings

How to spot a good oxygen concentrator ?

Oxygen concentrators with a flow capacity of less than five litres per minute are “not suitable” for COVID-19 patients on home care and should not be used, India’s drug regulator , CDSCO said . Sellers should not push such devices using “misleading label” amid the coronavirus second wave.

The advisory by CDSCO aims at educating the people about minimum standards of oxygen concentrators for COVID-19 case management, especially for use in home settings.

At present , market has various models of oxygen concentrators, with different capacities of continuous flow (1 to 10 litres/minute) and widely varying concentration of oxygen, are being marketed . The health ministry has from time to time advised that oxygen concentrators with flow capacity of five litre per minute or more and delivering oxygen with concentration of 90 per cent or more are suitable for management of COVID-19 patients at COVID Care Centres, Dedicated COVID Health Centres and in home settings. The World Health Organisation has also prescribed these norms for oxygen concentrators.

Many people are not aware about these minimum parameters of oxygen concentrators and therefore may be using the concentrators that are not suitable for COVID-19 case management. This advisory is issued to inform people about minimum standards of oxygen concentrators for COVID-19 case management, for use especially in home settings.

CDSCO has further advised that oxygen concentrators must be purchased with consumables required to operate, user care instructions and protocols including guidance for replacement of accessories and consumable and safe decontamination of reusable parts, indicating if they are generic or brand related, the advisory said.

CDSCO has strongly advised that all sellers must prominently display the following information for each model of oxygen concentrator for sale

  • continuous flow capacity in litres per minute
  • the percentage of oxygen that a concentrator generates and
  • the maximum retail price.

Download the full advisory here for more information

COVID-19 testing during the second wave of the pandemic

Latest Advisory from ICMR dt 04/05/2021

Context Recommendation to introduce Rapid Antigen Testing by ICMR

An unprecedented upsurge of COVID-19 cases and deaths is currently being witnessed across India. The overall nationwide test positivity rate is above 20%. Testing-tracking-tracing, isolation and home-based treatment of positive patients is the key measure to curb transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. As on today, India has a total of 2506 molecular testing laboratories including RTPCR, TrueNat, CBNAAT and other platforms. The total daily National testing capacity is close to 15 lakh tests considering a three- shift operationalization of the existing laboratory network. At present, the laboratories are facing challenges to meet the expected testing target due to extraordinary case load and staff getting infected with COVID-19. In view of this situation, it is imperative to optimize the RTPCR testing and simultaneously increase the access and availability of testing to all citizens of the country.

Recommended measures to optimize RTPCR testing :

i. RTPCR test must not be repeated in any individual who has tested positive once either by RAT or RTPCR.
ii. No testing is required for COVID-19 recovered individuals at the time of hospital discharge
in accordance with the discharge policy of MoH&FW
(https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/ReviseddischargePolicyforCOVID19.pdf).
iii. The need for RTPCR test in healthy individuals undertaking inter-state domestic travel may be completely removed to reduce the load on laboratories.
iv. Non-essential travel and interstate travel of symptomatic individuals (COVID-19 or flu like symptoms) should be essentially avoided to reduce the risk of infection.
v. All asymptomatic individuals undertaking essential travel must follow COVID appropriate behavior.
vi. Mobile testing laboratories are now available on GeM portal. States are encouraged to augment RTPCR testing through mobile systems.

Measures to improve access and availability of testing:

Rapid antigen tests (RATs) were recommended in India for COVID-19 testing in June 2020. However, the use of these tests is currently limited to containment zones and health care settings. RAT has a short turnaround time of 15-30 minutes and thus offers a huge advantage of quick detection of cases and opportunity to isolate and treat them early for curbing transmission. So far, ICMR has approved 36 RATs of which 10 are on GeM portal. To meet the overwhelming testing demand, it will be prudent to upscale testing using RATs.

Measures to ramp up testing through RAT

i. RAT may be allowed at all available Government and private healthcare facilities.
ii. Set up dedicated RAT booths in cities, towns and villages to offer testing to people.
iii. Testing booths may be set up at multiple locations including healthcare facilities, RWA, offices, schools, colleges, community centers and other available vacant spaces.
iv. These booths should be operational on a 24X7 basis to improve access and availability of testing.
v. Drive-through RAT testing facilities may be created at convenient locations as identified by local administration.
vi. Stringent measures must be instituted to avoid overcrowding at RAT testing facilities.

Source : https://www.icmr.gov.in/pdf/covid/strategy/Advisory_COVID_Testing_in_Second_Wave_04052021.pdf