India can Lead in Genomics Big Data Analytics: Vijay Raghavan, DBT

Identifying and interpreting spelling errors in genome sequencing presents big opportunities for India.

India can emerge as a key provider of high-end analytics based on genomics big data. There is a big opportunity for the country to both analyse and model genomics big data and to build mechanisms for using the analytics, a top government official has said.

Vijay Raghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India,  said India should look to build a sizeable pool of people who are trained to handle computational genomics.

Speaking at an interactive session on biotechnology on day two of the ‘Indian Economic Convention’ organised by India Foundation and International Chamber of Commerce, he underscored the need for deeper interaction between the different segments of the biotech ecosystem in India.

He said while silos are necessary for undertaking in-depth research, institutional interaction will help stakeholders to gain fresh insights on how the technologies can be applied to address critical issues that confront societies.

Vijay Chandru, Founder & Chairman, Strand Life Sciences, said that the Indian biotechnology industry is currently of $5 billion in size, of which two-third is accounted for by bio-pharmaceuticals. He said the industry has resolved to grow to the level of $100 billion in 10 years, which can be achieved with a 30% CAGR. The industry has recorded 20% CAGR in more recent years.

Chandru pointed out that bio-industrial and bio-agri offer significant scope for business and research. Referring to the area of genome sequencing, he said that identifying and interpreting the spelling errors in genome sequencing present big opportunities for the Indian players in this industry.

Genome sequencing involves some 3 billion letters. Identifying and interpreting the spelling errors in a genome sequence can, for instance, help in the efforts to tackle life-threatening diseases. Chandru added that identifying and interpreting the spelling errors is labor-intensive, and requires highly-skilled scientific manpower.


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