THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 13 October 2018 (Major mission to sequence genes of Indians planned)


Major mission to sequence genes of Indians planned 


Mains Paper: 3 | Science and Technology 
Prelims level: STIAC
Mains level: Mission to sequence genes

Context 

  • India is planning a major mission to sequence the genes of a “large” group of Indians.
  • It’s a kin to projects in the United Kingdom, China, Japan and Australia  and use this to improve health as well as buck a global trend of designing ‘personalised medicine.’ 
  • This was among the key decisions taken at the 1st Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (STIAC) in its first meeting on Tuesday. 
  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Department of Biotechnology would be closely associated with the project.

Important highlights of the project 

  • The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in 2009 announced that it had sequenced the genome of an Indian, then making India one of six countries to achieve such a feat, several research labs have analysed genes from Indians for disease susceptibility. 
  • However, no compendium of genes that differentiate Indian populations from, say Caucasian or African genomes exist. 
  • A group of Indian scientists and companies are involved with a 100k Genome Asia project, led out of the National Technological University (NTU), Singapore, to sequence the whole genomes of 100k Asians, including 50,000 Indians.
  • Our lifestyle, our environment and the genes we inherit all combine to make us what we are. 
  • The diversity of Indians and of our environment requires a large-scale study of human genomes, of our lifestyle in health and disease and the use of healthy and disease samples to understand the impact on health.

Way forward 

  • Principal Scientific Adviser and Chair of the Council, K. Vijay Raghavan, said the genome initiative will have to move at two different levels. 
  • Sequencing genomes and linking to human health and disease as a research initiative, and doing this on a much larger scale, so it has a direct impact on public health. As the first level starts, the second will be put in place, speedily.
  • The Council acts as a coordinator between several ministries to work on projects and missions and is scheduled to meet once a month.
  • Key programmes, such as a Deep Ocean Mission, to facilitate ocean science and technologies to help with India’s strategic interests and an Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing missions were also discussed.

Online Coaching for UPSC PRE Exam

General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1) With reference to Biopiracy, consider the following statements:
1. It is unauthorised use of biological reserve by entities outside a country which has pre-existing knowledge of rare biological reserves.
2. It is linked only to drug research and development.
Select the correct answer using code given below.
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: A

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1) Why India is planning for sequence of genes mission? What is the relevance to it? 

For Study Materials Call Us at +91 8800734161 (MON-SAT 11AM-7PM)