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Centre unveils India’s first national repository for life science data

India’s first national repository for life science data, generated from publicly-funded research in the country, was unveiled here on Thursday by Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh.

The ‘Indian Biological Data Centre’ (IBDC), established at the Regional Centre of Biotechnology here, has data storage capacity of four petabytes and is also home to the ‘Brahm’ High Performance Computing facility.

A data disaster recovery site has been set up at the National Informatics Centre, Bhubaneshwar, Singh said.

Prof Sudhanshu Vrati, Executive Director of IBDC, said the life sciences data was till now stored in data repositories in Europe and the US, and a need was felt to house the data within the country.

The computational infrastructure at IBDC has also been made available for researchers interested in performing computational-intensive analysis.

Singh said that IBDC has started nucleotide data submission services via two data portals viz. the ‘Indian Nucleotide Data Archive (INDA)’ and ‘Indian Nucleotide Data Archive – Controlled Access (INDA-CA)’ and has accumulated over 200 billion (one billion = 100 crore) bases from 2,08,055 submissions from more than 50 research labs across the country.

The Centre also hosts an online ‘Dashboard’ for the genomic surveillance data generated by the INSACOG labs that provides customised data submission, access, data analysis services, and real-time SARS-CoV-2 variant monitoring across India.

Data submission and access portals for other data types are under development and would be launched shortly, Singh said.

Fundamentally, IBDC is committed to the spirit of data sharing as per FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) principles, the minister said. PTI

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