New Delhi, Aug 13: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Dr Jitendra Singh today released “IndiGau’, India’s first Cattle Genomic Chip for the conservation of pure varieties of indigenous cattle breeds like, Gir, Kankrej, Sahiwal and Ongole.
This indigenous chip was developed by the concerted efforts of scientists of National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NAIB), Hyderabad, an autonomous institution under the aegis of the Department of Biotechnology. At this occasion, Dr. Renu Swarup, Secretary,DBT, Senior scientists of NIAB and senior officials of DBT were present.
In his address, Dr Jitendra Singh said this is an occasion for triple Celebrations-Celebration of India’s Cow and Cattle, Celebration of calibre of India’s Scientists and above all Celebration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of AtmaNirbhar Bharat. He said, Prime Minister always underline to apply scientific knowledge and innovations for “Ease of Living” for all sections of society.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that IndiGau is purely indigenous and the largest cattle chip of 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. Renu Swarup, Secretary DBT speaking in 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 implement 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 well organized presence in the field for collection of phenotypic record, 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 elite bull selection and improvement of productivity characters of Indian cattle.
NIAB has also entered into a 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.