CSIR Current Affairs - 2020

What is IndiGen Genome project?

The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) has conducted a Whole Genome Sequencing of around 1,008 Indians from different populations across country in order to generate data on genetic diseases and to know risk of genetic diseases in future generations. The project is called as IndiGen Genome project.

Highlights of IndiGen Genome project

In April 2019, the IndiGen initiative was undertaken by CSIR. It was implemented by CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), New Delhi and CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad.

The outcome of project will have applications in a number of areas such as predictive and preventive medicine with faster and efficient diagnosis of rare genetic diseases.

The whole-genome data will be important for building the knowhow, baseline data and indigenous capacity in emerging area of Precision Medicine.

Benefits of Initiative

The ability to decode genetic blueprint of humans through whole-genome sequencing will be a major driver for- biomedical science, epidemiology of genetic diseases to enable cost-effective genetic tests, enabling efficient diagnosis of heritable cancers, carrier screening applications for expectant couples and pharmacogenetic tests to prevent adverse drug reactions.

Moreover, the outcomes of IndiGen project will be utilized towards understanding genetic diversity on a population scale thus making available genetic variant frequencies for clinical applications and enabling genetic epidemiology of diseases.

The whole genome data and knowhow for analysis of large scale genomic data is expected to enable evidence and aid in development of technologies for clinical and biomedical applications in India.

It will also ensure that India with its unparalleled human diversity is adequately represented in terms of genomic data and develops indigenous capacity to generate, analyze, maintain, utilize and communicate large-scale genome data in a scalable manner.

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Ministry of S&T launches Eco friendly crackers developed by CSIR

On 6th October, 2019, Ministry of Science and Technology launched new set of crackers called Eco – friendly crackers. These crackers help to reduce particulate emissions by 30% by producing same level of light and sound.

The crackers were developed by CSIR – Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. They were developed in the wake of SC directions on use and restrictions of fireworks

Implementation

The Ministry has signed contracts with around 230 firework manufacturers to use the formulations developed by CSIR. The crackers are expected to reach markets for this Diwali.

Significance

The regular crackers release Barium Nitrate the main pollutant. It is now replaced with Potassium Nitrate. Also, crackers pollute the environment by leaving dangerous toxins, metal particles, smoke and harmful chemicals.

SC on firecrackers

In 2018, SC directed the CPCB – Central Pollution Control Board to monitor the levels of metals in the atmosphere before and after Diwali. Also, the court restricted the time of bursting crackers between 8 pm and 10 pm.

SC also encouraged use of green crackers and improved crackers. Improved crackers are those which use ash as filler and reduces the particulate emission by 15 to 20%. It also uses charcoal within the limit prescribed by Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization. Green Crackers are those that reduces emission of Nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide and reduces the overall harmful particualte emissions by 30 to 35%.

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