IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


5th August, 2019

20,000 genomes to be scanned for cancer study

News Important for: GS Paper – 3 I Science and Technology- developments and their applications


The Department of Biotechology (DBT) plans to scan nearly 20,000 Indian genomes over the next five years.




About Genome India Initiative:

  • The Department of Biotechology (DBT) will scan nearly 20,000 Indian genomes over the next five years, in a two-phase exercise, and develop diagnostic tests that can be used to test for cancer.
  • The Data sets compared by machine learning techniques can predict risk of cancer and other diseases.
  • While 22 institutions, including those from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the DBT would be involved in the exercise.
  • Along with genome samples, the Pune-based National Centre for Cell Sciences will also collect samples of the microbiome from the human gut. The diversity of the bacterial samples is at the frontier of global research, as there is an intimate connection between the genome, the gut microbiome and disease.

First phase

  • It will involves sequencing the genomes of nearly 10,000 healthy Indians to capture the biological diversity of the country

Second phase

  • In the next phase, about 10,000 “diseased individuals” would have their genomes sequenced.

These data would be compared using machine learning to identify genes that can predict cancer risk, as well as other diseases that could be significantly influenced by genetic anomalies.


  • The data generated would be accessible to researchers anywhere for analysis.
  • The government is planning to propose National Biological Data Centre as envisaged in the ‘Biological Data Storage, Access and Sharing Policy’.
  • It will make Genomics research is a major thrust area of research and genomic-based diagnostics can be made available at affordable prices through labs.


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Indigenous missile successfully tested

News Important for: GS Paper – 3 I Defense and Security


The Defense Research Development Organization successfully test-fired the indigenously developed Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile from the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur.




  • Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QRSAM) is a missile developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in association with Bharat Electronics Limited and Bharat Dynamics Limited for the Indian Army.
  • Total Two missiles have been tested against the targets. The test successfully meets complete mission objectives of engaging the targets.
  • The systems have been tested in final configuration with radar mounted on a vehicle and missiles on the launcher.
  • The missiles with many state-of-the-art technologies engaged the targets at different ranges and altitudes.

Surface-to-air missile


  • The surface-to-air missile (SAM), is a missile designed to be launched from the ground to destroy aircraft or other missiles.
  • It is one type of antiaircraft system; in modern armed forces, missiles have replaced most other forms of dedicated antiaircraft weapons, with anti-aircraft guns pushed into specialized roles.
  • QRSAM uses solid-fuel propellant and has a range of 25-30 km. It’s an all-weather and all-terrain missile, which can be mounted on a truck and stored in a canister, is equipped with electronic counter measures against jamming by aircraft radars .



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Call to reserve 21 Assam Assembly seats for indigenous groups

News Important for: GS Paper – 3 I Vulnerable Group, Welfare Program


A coordination committee of the indigenous groups in Assam has demanded the reservation of 21 “immigrants-controlled” Assembly seats for indigenous communities.


  • The committee has sought the formation of a Legislative Council to let numerically weaker communities be represented in the 126-member Assembly.
  • Many of indigenous groups have been affected by the Assam Accord.

Assam Accord


  • The Assam Accord (1985) was a Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) signed between representatives of the Government of India and the leaders of the Assam Movement in New Delhi on 15 August 1985.
  • A six-year agitation demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants was launched by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) in 1979.
  • It culminated with the signing of the Assam Accord.
  • The accord brought an end to the Assam Movement and paved the way for the leaders of the agitation to form a political party and form a government in the state of Assam soon after.



  • “Many indigenous groups have been affected by the Assam Accord that settled for March 24, 1971, as the cut-off date for detecting illegal migrants instead of 1951.
  • The Centre had in July constituted a 13-member committee to look into the pros and cons of implementing Clause 6 that seeks to guarantee constitutional safeguards for the Assamese people

The non-government organization initiative

  • The Parishad is an umbrella body of 21 organizations representing indigenous communities, including the Assamese Muslims who distinguish themselves from the Bengal-origin migrant Muslims.

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Statue of Unity shortlisted for UK-based structural award

News Important for: GS Paper – 1 I Cultural Heritage, Tourism


The Statue of Unity has been shortlisted for ‘The Structural Awards 2019’.




  • The award is presented by the UK-based Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE). 
  • The statue is situated in the Kevadia town in Narmada district Gujarat.
  • It is the tallest statue in the world with a height of 182 mts.
  • Sardar Vallabhai Patel, popularly known as the Iron Man of India, served as the first home minister of independent India.

Institution of Structural Engineers


  • The Institution is the world's largest membership organization dedicated to structural engineering.
  • The Institution of Structural Engineers is a professional body for structural engineering based in the United Kingdom.
  • It has 27,000 members operating in 105 countries.
  • The Institution provides professional accreditation for structural engineers. It publishes a monthly magazine, The Structural Engineer.
  • The institution also has a research journal titled Structures, published by Elsevier, Inc.
  • The Institution is an internationally recognised source of expertise and information concerning all issues that involve structural engineering and public safety within the built environment.
  • The core work of the Institution is supporting and protecting the profession of structural engineering by upholding professional standards and acting as an international voice on behalf of structural engineers.



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