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Indian phenotype, DNA different, needs separate health data: Dr Jitendra Singh

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Pune, June 23 (IANS) Indian phenotype and DNA are different from the rest of the world, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science & Technology Dr Jitendra Singh said on Sunday, stressing the need for separate data on the health of the citizens.

Addressing the 6th National Convention of Vigyan Bharati (ViBha) at MIT-ADT University here, Dr Singh, a renowned diabetologist, noted that central obesity, visceral obesity -- a known risk factor for metabolic diseases such as heart disease, and hypertension, are high in India.

"Indian phenotype is different, our DNA differs from the rest of the world hence some diseases prevail more in India. To counter these we need an integrated and holistic approach and a combination of our traditional knowledge and modern medicine," he said.

"We should have separate data on health," he added.

Calling traditional knowledge an “exclusive asset”, he noted that the Science and Technology Department has initiated a "Traditional Knowledge Digital library to achieve the best of both worlds".

The minister mentioned that people having prejudice against oriental medicine changed their opinion during Covid times, and highlighted the progress in science and technology in the last decade. Further, Dr Singh said: "India established its own standards despite meeting the International standards". He said that from "350 startups in 2014", India now has "nearly 1.5 lakh".

In terms of innovation and R&D activities, he shared that India climbed from 81st position in 2014 to 40th position in the Global Innovation Index. The country also "stands at number three in the highest number of PhDs in science", as well as in "global startups".

Citing these achievements in the last 10 years, he noted that the "so-called developed nations have (now) accepted that India has become a frontline nation".

"Being students of Science, we are taught to speak with evidence and our belief in Indianness is not just out of national pride but it is based on sound scientific research," said Dr Singh.



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