Srinagar, Sept 23: In a significant milestone in the field of genomics and healthcare, the two-day conference titled "Genomics towards Better Health" concluded today at Kashmir University, Srinagar. The event was jointly organized by the University of Kashmir and the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) New Delhi. Union Minister of State, Dr. Jitendra Singh addressed the gathering and discussed several government achievements over the past four years.
Dr. Jitendra Singh lauded the organizers for their meticulous planning and execution of the scientific program, which explored the critical role of genomics in shaping the future of healthcare. He emphasised India's significant progress in understanding the role of genetics, especially in healthcare, highlighting the groundbreaking "GenomIndia" project led by Dr. Ashraf Ganie, a flagship initiative of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
Speaking to the audience, Dr. Singh noted the historic collaboration between CSIR and Kashmir University and pointed out the remarkable achievements in the field of science, particularly in light of the recent success of Chandrayaan, India's lunar mission.
The Union Minister also touched upon the National Education Policy 2020, which aims to nurture the talents and aptitude of the younger generation in research and innovation. He credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for initiating bold reforms that have made the educational ecosystem more favourable for scientific advancements.
Dr. Singh emphasised the importance of aligning India's strategies with global standards to become a global player. He cited the success of the Startup policy, with the number of startups increasing from 35,400 to 125,000 in just 8 to 9 years. He also highlighted the growth in the space sector, from 4 start-ups to 150, demonstrating the opportunities created by the new start- up policy.
Turning his attention to healthcare, Dr. Singh stressed the need for an integrated approach and the importance of preventive healthcare. He praised India's achievement in developing the first DNA COVID vaccine and underscored genomics as a vital step toward preventive strategies.
Addressing the issue of diabetes, Dr. Singh emphasized the significance of insulin resistance in preventing diseases. He expressed optimism about expanding research in this area and integrating multiple studies to maximize the benefits of each other's inputs.
Later, Dr. Singh highlighted the Anusandhan National Research Foundation, encouraging institutions like Kashmir University to make the best use of it. He called for more innovative programs and institutions dedicated to non-communicable diseases, especially diabetes, to enhance healthcare and overall well-being.
The valedictory function at Kashmir University marked a crucial milestone in harnessing genomics for improved healthcare and addressing the growing diabetes epidemic. Dignitaries including Prof. P.A. Koul, Director SKIMS & EOSG, and Prof. Nilofer Khan, Vice Chancellor of the University of Kashmir, were also present at the event.