Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

25th October 2019 Current Affairs

1. IndiGen

  • The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) has conducted Whole Genome Sequencing of 1,008 Indians from different populations across the country. Announcing details of the IndiGen Genome project,
  • The whole genome data will be important for building the knowhow, baseline data and indigenous capacity in the emerging area of Precision Medicine.  
  • The outcomes of the IndiGen will have applications in a number of areas including predictive and preventive medicine with faster and efficient diagnosis of rare genetic diseases, he added.
  • The IndiGen initiative was undertaken by CSIR in April 2019, which was implemented by the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi and CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad.
  • This has enabled benchmarking the scalability of genome sequencing and computational analysis at population scale in a defined timeline. The ability to decode the genetic blueprint of humans through whole genome sequencing will be a major driver for biomedical science.
  • The benefits of this initiative include epidemiology of genetic diseases to enable cost effective genetic tests, carrier screening applications for expectant couples, enabling efficient diagnosis of heritable cancers and pharmacogenetics tests to prevent adverse drug reactions.
  • On the occasion, the IndiGenome card and accompanying IndiGen mobile application that enables participants and clinicians to access clinically actionable information in their genomes.
  • It ensures privacy and data security, which is vital for personal genomics to be implemented at scale.
  •  This is being pilot tested in individuals across India and has evinced interest from several Indian commercial organizations.
  • The outcomes of the IndiGen will be utilized towards understanding the genetic diversity on a population scale, make available genetic variant frequencies for clinical applications and enable genetic epidemiology of diseases.
  • The whole genome data and knowhow for the analysis of largescale genomic data is expected to enable evidence and aid in the development of technologies for clinical and biomedical applications in India.
  • It is important to ensure that India, with its unparalleled human diversity, is adequately represented in terms of genomic data and develops indigenous capacity to generate, maintain, analyze, utilize and communicate large-scale genome data, in a scalable manner. 
  • CSIR has led human genomic sciences in India and has made major contributions in understanding the “Indian Genome Variation”.
  • Pioneering collaborations in genomics has been fostered by CSIR both nationally and internationally.
  • Furthermore, CSIR contributed towards the first personal human genome in India and in understanding ancestral population in India and early migrations that led to what we know today on distinct ethnic groups.
  •  CSIR also pioneered the application of genomics in clinical settings in the area of rare genetic diseases in India by means of DNA/Genome based diagnostics and interaction with large number of clinical collaborators.

2. Support small landholding farmers

  • The Government of India, Government of Odisha and the World Bank on signed for Integrated Irrigation Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture.
  • The project aims to support small landholding farmers in order to strengthen the resilience of their production systems against adverse climatic conditions by improving access to climate resilient seed varieties and production technologies.
  • For increasing the income of the farmers, the project strives to diversify, marketing support promoting the productivity improvements    towards more climate-resilient crops and improve access to better water management and irrigation services.
  • The project will be implemented in rural areas that are vulnerable to droughts and are largely dependent on rainfed agriculture.
  • The project also aspires to support the rehabilitation of 532 water tanks thereby: This project is under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) of the government so as to achieve the sustainable agriculture-related targets of the SDGs by 2030.

3. Mahastupa of the Buddhist

  • Mahastupa of the Buddhist heritage site of Thotlakonda, which was reconstructed in 2016 by the State Archaeology department, collapsed recently.
  • It is 2000 years old monastic complex with remnants of Stupas, Chaitya Grihas and Viharas atop Thotlakonda Hill, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The Buddhist monks arriving from places like China, Burma and many other countries used to stay at this site for months before finishing their learning.
  • Note Stupas: These are Buddhist commemorative monument usually housing sacred relics associated with the Buddha or other saintly persons.

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