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  • 18 February, 2020

  • 4 Min Read

SUTRA PIC initiative

Syllabus subtopic: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation.

Prelims and Mains focus: about the initiative: objective s and significance; about SVAROP inititative; about SEED: objectives and mandate

News: The government has unveiled a programme to research on ‘indigenous’ cows.


  • The Finance Minister had announced research programmes into indigenous cattle in the 2016-17 as well as in the 2019-20 Union Budget. The stated objective was to develop products as well as improve the genetic quality of indigenous cattle breeds.

  • A 2019 article in the Journal of Animal Research said India had 190.9 million cattle and 43 registered native cattle breeds. The exotic / crossbred population has been increased by 20.18% during the period of last census while population of indigenous cattle has been decreased by 8.94% during the same duration.

  • The reasons for depletion of native breeds includes
  1. cross-breeding with exotic breeds,
  2. economically less viable,
  3. losing utility,
  4. reduction in herd size and
  5. the large-scale mechanisation of agricultural operation.

About the initiative

  • SUTRA PIC or Scientific Utilisation Through Research Augmentation-Prime Products from Indigenous Cows, has five themes:
  1. Uniqueness of Indigenous Cows,
  2. Prime-products from Indigenous Cows for Medicine and Health,
  3. Prime-products from Indigenous Cows for Agricultural Applications,
  4. Prime-products from Indigenous Cows for Food and Nutrition,
  5. Prime-products from indigenous cows-based utility items

  • To be funded by multiple scientific ministries, the initiative, SUTRA PIC, is led by Science for Equity, Empowerment and Development (SEED) division of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

  • It has the Department of Biotechnology, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Ministry for AYUSH (Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Homoeopathy) among others and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) as partners.

  • Researchers from academic organisations as well as “capable voluntary organisations (NGOs) active in India with proven record of accomplishment in executing S&T-based R&D projects,” were invited to apply for funding.

Objectives of the programme:

  • to perform scientific research on complete characterisation of milk and milk products derived from Indian indigenous cows;

  • scientific research on nutritional and therapeutic properties of curd and ghee prepared from indigenous breeds of cows by traditional methods;

  • development of standards for traditionally processed dairy products of Indian-origin cow.

Indigenous cow breeds: Gir, Red Sindhi, Sahiwal, Deoni, Rathi

About SVAROP initiative

  • In 2017, SEED constituted a National Steering Committee (NSC) for ‘Scientific Validation and Research on Panchgavya (SVAROP)’.

  • Panchagavya is an Ayurvedic panacea and is a mixture of five (pancha) products of the cow (gavya) — milk, curd, ghee, dung and urine. Its proponents believe it can cure, or treat a wide range of ailments.

About SEED

  • Science for Equity, Empowerment and Development (SEED) Division has been set up under the Department of Science and Technology, established with the broad objectives of providing opportunities to motivated scientists and field level workers to take up action oriented and location specific projects aiming towards socio-economic upliftment of poor and disadvantaged sections of the society through appropriate technological interventions especially in the rural areas.

  • Under this Division efforts have been made to associate concerned National Labs or other specialist S&T institutions with each major program so as to build-in expert input, utilize national S&T infrastructure and link it up with grassroots S&T interventions/initiatives.

Objectives & Mandate

  • To support S&T based NGOs/S & T institutions/Colleges/Universities throughout the country to take up innovative grant in aid projects at the grassroots level with various schemes targeted for different section of the society to address location and occupation specific problems.
  • Catalyze and support research, development and adaptation of relevant and appropriate technologies for empowering and improving quality of life of Artisans, Landless labour, Women, SC/ST and other disadvantaged sections, particularly in rural areas.
  • Preserve and upgrade skills of traditional artisans as “natural carriers” of S&T knowledge/ capabilities and enable their transition to S&T – based production organizations.
  • Need-based, location specific and appropriate S&T intervention for economically viable, ecologically sustainable and socially acceptable development
  • “Bottom-up” rather than top-down programme planning with full community involvement.
  • Evolve and demonstrate replicable models of S&T – based development for benefit of disadvantaged sections; and
  • Catalyze linkages with Developmental Agencies/ Departments and Financial Institutions so as to promote integration of these models with wider developmental processes.

Source: The Hindu


17 Sep,2021

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