Promoting Science and Technology – Missions,Policies & Schemes

Completion of Genome India Project


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Genome India Project

Mains level: NA

Genome India Project

In the news

About the Genome India Project

Initiative Launched in 2020 by Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and ISRO
Aim To sequence 10,000 Indian genomes for a reference genome.
Objective Understand Indian genetic variations for predictive diagnostics.
Scope Involves 20+ institutions to collect samples and create a reference grid.
Significance Addresses India’s genetic diversity for personalized healthcare.
Applications Advances biotech, agriculture, and healthcare for diseases like diabetes and cancer.

What is Genome Sequencing?

  • Genome sequencing involves deciphering the complete set of genetic instructions contained within an organism’s DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid).
  • It entails determining the sequence of the four nucleotide bases: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T).
  • The human genome comprises over 3 billion of these genetic letters, but current DNA sequencing methods can only handle short stretches at a time.
  • While human genomes consist of DNA, viruses can have genomes composed of either DNA or RNA (Ribonucleic acid).
  • Notably, viruses like the coronavirus possess RNA genomes.
  • Each organism possesses a unique genome sequence, making genome sequencing a vital technique for understanding genetic information encoded in DNA or RNA.

Outcomes of the Genome India Project

  • Population Complexity: India’s vast population, comprising over 4,600 distinct groups, exhibits significant genetic diversity, owing to factors such as endogamy.
  • Unique Variations: Various disease-causing mutations are amplified within specific population groups, highlighting the importance of understanding India’s genetic landscape.

Future Implications

  • Insight into Population Diversity: The project aims to provide deeper insights into India’s genetic diversity, facilitating improved diagnostic methods and medical counselling.
  • Personalized Medicine: Identifying genetic predispositions to diseases and developing personalized drugs are envisioned outcomes, enhancing healthcare interventions.
  • Biobank Establishment: A biobank housing 20,000 blood samples, located at the Centre for Brain Research, IISc, supports genome sequencing efforts.
  • Data Archiving: Data archiving at the Indian Biological Data Centre (IBDC), set up by the DBT at the Regional Centre for Biotechnology (RCB), Faridabad, underscores the project’s commitment to transparency and collaboration.

Try this PYQ from CSP 2017:

d) 1, 2 and 3


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