Srinagar- The two-day conference titled “Genomics towards better health,” jointly organized by the University of Kashmir and the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) New Delhi, culminated today in presence of Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (IC) Science and Technology, MoS PMO, Personnel Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space. The programme, held at Kashmir University in Srinagar, witnessed an insightful discourse on the significance of genomics in shaping the future of healthcare.
Dr. Jitendra Singh, in his speech, commended the organizers for orchestrating a well-designed and highly scientific program that delved into topics of current importance, laying the groundwork for breakthroughs in the field of genomics. India, he noted, is making significant strides in comprehending the role of genetics across various domains, particularly in healthcare.
Highlighting the pivotal role played by the “GenomIndia” project, one of the flagship initiatives of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Dr. Jitendra Singh appreciated the efforts of Dr. Ashraf Ganie leading the project, which is poised to improve our understanding and research further in thefield.
Addressing the gathering Dr. Jitendra Singh said that both the institutions, CSIR and Kashmir University jointly collaborating for a project here today, have a rich legacy and have marched with the times along with the journey of independent India.
Dr. Singh said that this event is being held when the entire nation is basking under the success of Chandrayan. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, science and scientists have gained immense respect and recognition in India. This underscores the positive developments and advancements taking place in the country, he added.
Dr. Singh talked about the National Education Policy 2020 which will ensure that the coming generation will get the best of the aptitude and talent particularly in the area of research and innovation. Earlier education system was not flexible and did not give us enough opportunity but now the whole ecosystem is now more favourable and the credit of this bold initiative goes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
If we are looking forward to become a global player, we have to live up to the global challenges and parameters and our strategies have to match to the global standards, Dr. Singh further added.
While speaking about the success of Startup policy, Dr Singh said that total number of startups have sprung up from 35400 to 125000 just in 8 to 9 years because of the new favourable startup policy. In space alone, in 4 years we have gone up from 4 start ups to 150 startups. This shows how new startup policy offers a lot of opportunities encouraging more startups to come forward.
Dr. Singh highlighted that this is now a time when world is ready for integrated approach. India gave world the first DNA COVID vaccine but what is exciting and amazing is that this country which hardly believes in protective healthcare. Genomics is another step towards that preventive strategies we are going to have in the future.
Union Minister said that Insulin resistance is the main hallmark to prevent diseases and I am sure we will widen this project and we will also integrate these two three studies so that we can benefit from each other’s inputs. Dr. Singh hoped for efforts for an integrated approach in future. We have to learn to put our inputs and work cultures together otherwise we won’t be able to achieve the wholesome output, that is the hallmark.
The government has come up with The Anusandhan National Research Foundation of which the Kashmir University and other institutions can make best use of, the Union Minister said.
Dr. Jitendra Singh closed his address by underlining the pressing need for more such innovative programs and institutions for non-communicable diseases, particularly diabetes. He stressed the necessity of dedicated diabetes institutions for research and training, ultimately contributing to better healthcare and well-being for all.
The valedictory function at Kashmir University marked an important milestone in the journey toward leveraging genomics for better health and tackling the diabetes epidemic that looms large on the horizon.
Prof. P.A. Koul, Director SKIMS & EOSG, Prof. Nilofer Khan, Vice Chancellor, University of Kashmir and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
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