PIB News 27th Oct, 2020


(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

India Post and United States Postal Service (USPS) signs Agreement for Electronic Exchange of Customs Data related to postal shipments exchanged between the two countries
The agreement aims to facilitate ‘ease of exports’ for small and large exporters through postal channels

Department of Posts, Government of India (India Post) and United States Postal Service (USPS) have entered into an agreement for Electronic Exchange of Customs data related to postal shipments exchanged between the two countries. The agreement will make it possible to transmit and receive electronic data of international postal items prior to their physical arrival at the destination and would enable customs clearance of postal items in advance in line with the evolving global postal framework. This will also improve the performance of postal services in terms of reliability, visibility and security.

USA is the top export destination for India (~17%) which is also reflected in exchange of goods through postal channel. In 2019, around 20% of outbound EMS and 30% of Letters & Small Packets transmitted by India Post were destined to USA whereas 60% of the Parcels received by India Post were originated from USA. Exchange of Electronic Advance Data (EAD) as per the Agreement will be a key driver towards promoting mutual trade with emphasis on the exports from different parts of India to USA through postal channel considering that USA is a major destination of MSME products, Gems &Jewelry, Pharmaceuticals and other local products from India. This will fulfill a major demand of export industry to expedite customs clearances of export items.

The primary objective that will be served by this agreement is to facilitate ‘ease of exports’ for small and large exporters through postal channels from different parts of the country and will contribute towards making India an Export Hub for the world.

The agreement was signed by Mr. Prannoy Sharma, Deputy Director General (International Relations & Global Business), Department of Posts, Government of India and Mr. Robert H. Raines Jr., Managing Director, Global Business of United States Postal Service.

 

(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.)

 

CSIR IndiGenome resource of 1029 Indian genomes provides a compendium of genetic variants representing the contemporary Indian population
32% genetic variants are unique in Indian sequences as compared to global genomes
The resource can provide useful insights for clinicians and researchers in comprehending genetics at the population and the individual level

Results from the extensive computation analysis of the 1029 sequenced genomes from India carried out by CSIR constituent labs, CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi and CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad were published in the scientific journal, Nucleic Acid Research, earlier this week. The analysis led to the identification of 55,898,122 single nucleotide variants in the India genome dataset. Comparisons with the global genome datasets revealed that 18,016,257 (32.23%) variants were unique and found only in the samples sequenced from India. This emphasizes the need for an India centric population genomic initiative.

India is the second largest country in terms of population density with more than 1.3 billion individuals encompassing 17% of the world population. Despite having this rich genetic diversity, India has been under-represented in global genome studies. Further, the population architecture of India has resulted in high prevalence of recessive alleles. In the absence of large-scale whole genome studies from India, these population-specific genetic variants are not adequately captured and catalogued in global medical literature.

In order to fill the gap of whole genome sequences from different populations in India, CSIR initiated the IndiGen Program in April 2019. Under this program, the whole genome sequencing of 1029 self-declared healthy Indians drawn from across the country has been completed. This has enabled benchmarking the scalability of genome sequencing at population scale in a defined timeline. The Minister of S&T, ES and MoHFW,  Dr Harsh Vardhan announced the completion of the IndiGen sequence generation efforts on 25th October 2019.

The current IndiGenomes data resource provides a compendium of genetic variants representing the contemporary Indian population with an objective to classify variants involved in mendelian disorders and improve precision medicine outcomes.

The resource can also enable the identification of markers for carrier screening, variations causing genetic diseases, prevention of adverse events and provide better diagnosis and optimal therapy through mining data of clinically actionable pharmacogenetic variants. The phased data will allow researchers to build Indian-specific reference genome dataset and efficiently impute haplotype information. This resource can provide useful insights for clinicians and researchers in comprehending genetics not only at the population level but at the individual level.

The resource is widely accessible to the researchers and clinicians in India and abroad. There have been over ∼200,000 pageviews on the IndiGenomes web page from users spanning 27 countries demonstrating the uniqueness of the resource.

DG CSIR, Dr Shekhar C Mande, complimented the teams from CSIR-IGIB and CSIR-CCMB who undertook the IndiGen program not only leading to the development of this valuable resource, but agumenting capability in genomics and understanding of India’s genomic diversity strengthening the country’s response to the current and future pandemics.

 

(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

 

Shri Arjun Munda launches two Centers of Excellence for tribal welfare in partnership with Art of Living
Strengthening of PRIs in tribal areas will empower them in matters relating to decision making and development of their community: Sh Arjun Munda

The Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Shri Arjun Mundalaunchedtwo Centers of Excellence for Tribal Welfare in a collaboration between Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) and Art of Living (AoL) through video conference here today.Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar, Art of Living graced the occasion. Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Smt. Renuka Singh Saruta, Secretary, MoTA Shri Deepak Khandekar and Js Shri Navaljit Kapoor were also present.

Addressing on the occasion, Shri Arjun Munda said that it is a very praiseworthy initiative of Art of Living (AoL) to launch two Centres of Excellence in partnership with MoTA– first CoE in the field of training tribal farmers in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra on sustainable natural farming based on Go-Adharith farming techniques; and second CoEin the field of ‘Strengthening PRIs’ in 5 districts covering 30 Gram Panchayats and 150 villages of Jharkhand. The Union government is fully committed to the welfare of tribal people of our country. Shri Munda said that a large amount of funds to the tune of more than Rs. 2 lakh crore is allocated exclusively for tribal development across the country.

Giving details, the Tribal Affairs Minister said that with the active participation of volunteers of Art of Living, the purpose of tribal welfare will be served. It will be a step towards fulfilling the Prime Minister’s dream of Aatmnirbhar Bharat. He hoped that this work will be accomplished very soon and more and more people and institutions will get involved with such move. The tribal people are completely devoted to protect the nature and save the environment, the Minister elaborated.

Shri Arjun Munda explained that strengthening of tribal Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs)will also help to educate them about their constitutional rights. He hoped that this will empower the PRIs in matters relating to decision making and development of their community.

Smt. Renuka Singh Saruta in her address said that the Ministry of Tribal Affairs is running many programs for the welfare of tribals. The Ministry is working in collaboration with many NGOs and social organizations who are also doing a commendable job in this field. Art of Living has a vast network of volunteers who will make this program successful.

Gurudev Sri SriRavishankar  in his address opined that we have to learn a lot from tribal people as they are very responsible towards cleanliness and conservation of environment. He dwelt upon the experience of running AoL School in Ghatashila, Jharkhand where skill development has been incorporated in educational curriculum. AoL is running 750 schools all over India. He emphasized that Dental Hygiene and Mental Hygiene both are very necessary in our villages. He assured that the volunteers of AoL will wholeheartedly work to make these tribal welfare schemes successful.

Secretary, MoTA, Shri Deepak Khandekar appreciated the already ongoing efforts of AoL in tribal areas. MoTA and AoL partnership will further help to expand these welfare activities, he added.SmtYatinder Prasad, JS (FA) conveyed vote of thanks to dignitaries.

The first initiative ‘Strengthening PRIs’ will be launched in 5 districts covering 30 Gram Panchayats and 150 villages of Jharkhand, in creating awareness among elected representatives of PRI about various Tribal Acts and Rulesand different welfare schemes available for these tribals and help them getting access to these schemes. The model is designed to create the youth volunteers among the tribal youths by giving them personality development training, instilling the sense of social responsibility among them and thereby creating the tribal leaders who will work for their community in spreading this awareness.

The second is about training 10000 tribal farmers in Aurangabad District of Maharashtra on sustainable natural farming based on Go-Adharith farming techniques. Farmers will be helped in getting the Organic certification and the marketing opportunities will be made available to them to make each of them Atmanirbhar Tribal Farmers.


 










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