Union minister  Jitendra Singh released “IndiGau’, India’s first Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) based chip for the conservation of pure varieties of indigenous cattle breeds like Gir, Kankrej, Sahiwal, Ongole, etc. | Source: Ministry of Science & Technology

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh today releasedIndiGau’, India’s first Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) based chip for the conservation of pure varieties of indigenous cattle breeds like Gir, Kankrej, Sahiwal, Ongole, etc.

This indigenous chip was developed by the concerted efforts of scientists of the National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NAIB), Hyderabad, an autonomous institution under the aegis of the Department of Biotechnology.

In his address, Dr. Jitendra Singh said this is an occasion for triple Celebrations-Celebration of India’s Cow and Cattle, Celebration of the caliber of India’s Scientists, and above all Celebration of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of AtmaNirbhar Bharat. He said, Prime Minister always underlines to apply scientific knowledge and innovations for “Ease of Living” for all sections of society.

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Dr. Singh said that IndiGau is purely indigenous and the largest cattle chip in the world. It has 11,496 markers (SNPs) more than that placed on 777K Illumina chip of US & UK breeds. The Minister said this CHIP of our own indigenous cows is a great example of self-reliant India / “ATMA NIRBHAR BHARAT”. He said this chip will have practical utility in the Governments schemes to achieve the goal of conservation of our own breeds with better characters and help towards doubling of farmers’ income by 2022. He took pride that even Departments like DBT and NIAB are contributing to the welfare and income augmentation of farmers. The Minister also launched two booklets on the occasion.

Dr.RenuSwarup, Secretary DBT speaking on the occasion thanked the Union Minister for releasing the IndiGau chip and also congratulated NAIB for this achievement. Dr.Swarup also informed that DBT is looking forward to implementing this technology in the field with the help of other agencies like NDDB, DAHDF, ICAR, etc. To further the use of this chip in generating phenotypic and genotypic correlations, NIAB has entered into a collaborative agreement with National Dairy Development Board (NDDB).

Since NDDB has a well-organized presence in the field for the collection of phenotypic records, NIAB and NDDB complement each other to undertake this research for generating information for low-density SNP chip for any important trait detection, like high milk yield or heat tolerance, etc.  This will eventually help in the elite bull selection and improvement of productivity characters of Indian cattle.

NIAB has also entered into an MoU with private industry to generate capability within India for designing and making our own SNP chips.  These may be very low-density SNP chips in the beginning and slowly this technology can be further strengthened for bigger chips, making India self-reliant in this field.

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