ICMR Current Affairs - 2020

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ICMR releases report on Sugar Intake of India, Report first of its kind

On January 5, 2020, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) released its report on sugar intake of India. The intake was measured in grams per day. The report was released based on a joint survey conducted by ICMR, NIN (National Institute of Nutrition), Hyderabad and ILSI (International Life Science Institute of India). The study is the first of its kind in the country.


The study says that intake of added sugar in metro cities was 19.5 grams per day. This is lower than the level recommended by ICMR which is 30 gram per day. Though the levels of all the cities were within the threshold, they were so close to the upper limit in certain cities.

According to the study, sugar intake was the highest in Mumbai. Mumbai reported 26.3 g/day followed by Ahmedabad at 25.9 g/day. The other counter parts of the metropolitan cities that have high intakes include Delhi (23.2 g/day), Bengaluru at 19.3 g/day, Kolkata at 17.1 g/day and Chennai at 16.1 grams per day.


The report also stated that the overall intake of sugar by women was more than that of men. Intake of sugar by women was 20.2 g/day and that of men was 18.7 g/day.

In terms of age group, the study says that people belonging to older age group take more sugar than that of the younger population.

The study also measured sugar consumption based in literacy level, community, activity status, occupation.

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ICMR: Task Force on Gene Therapy

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will set up a task force on gene therapy in order to encourage research in the field. The purpose of setting up the task force is to explore gene editing based therapeutic approaches that will treat illness.


The task force will work on genetic diseases affecting brain, eye disorders, muscles, heart, retina, cornea and blood disorders. The blood disorders include Thalassemia, Haemophilia and Sickle cell disease. The task force will also work on diseases such as diabetes, cancer and lung diseases. The work of the force will be completely abided to the guidelines on gene therapy released by ICMR.


ICMR believes that many inherited disorders are not treated by existing drugs and therapies. While the western world has stridden far ahead in the field in the last 30 years, India is lagging in the field. Around 70 million Indians suffer from rare diseases whose cure can be achieved through gene therapy.

Even with advancements, the countries leading in the field are still in the stage of clinical trials and have not yet proved the success of the therapies. To mention a few, ICMR states that drugs like Luxuturna used to treat Retinitis Pigmentosa (illness that affects retinal cells of human eye) and Yescarta used to in cell therapy to treat cancer are still in clinical trial phase.

Therefore, it is important to build a strong task force that will work exclusively on gene therapy.


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