In India as elsewhere, multi-drug resistance (MDR) poses a serious challenge in the control of tuberculosis (TB). The End TB strategy, recently approved by the world health assembly, aims to reduce TB deaths by 95% and new cases by 90% between 2015 and 2035. A key pillar of this approach is early diagnosis of tuberculosis, including use of higher-sensitivity diagnostic testing and universal rapid drug susceptibility testing (DST). Despite limitations of current laboratory assays, universal access to rapid DST could become more feasible with the advent of new and emerging technologies.