The Indian government has recently launched a national repository for life science data.
The Indian Biological Data Center (IBDC) is situated at the Regional Centre for Biotechnology in Faridabad, a city in the state of Haryana while a data disaster recovery site has been set up at the National Informatics Centre in the state of Odisha.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
According to a press release, the IBDC has a four-petabyte-data storage capacity and houses the Brahm high-performance computing facility. It also runs an online dashboard that provides customised access, data submission, data analysis services, and real-time SARS-CoV-2 variant monitoring.
The IBDC has already started providing nucleotide data submission services via two portals – the Indian Nucleotide Data Archive and Indian Nucleotide Data Archive – Controlled Access. It has so far accumulated over 200 million bases from more than 200,000 submissions by over 50 research labs in the country.
WHY IT MATTERS
The data centre has been established to archive all life science data generated from publicly-funded research in the country as per the mandate set by the Biotech-PRIDE (Promotion of Research and Innovation through Data Exchange) guidelines. The said guidelines, which were published last year, facilitate and enable the sharing of biological knowledge, information and data generated through local research.
The IBDC is also committed to the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) principles.
Its computational infrastructure has been made available for researchers who are conducting computational-intensive analysis. More access and data submission portals for other types of data will be launched in IBDC soon.
THE LARGER TREND
India is currently building medical datasets that represent the diversity of its population. The initiative is being led by the Indian Council of Medical Research, together with the Indian Institute of Science and ARTPARK. They are now working to standardise data collection from partner medical institutions and curate data with the goal of making them available to the local community of researchers and innovators.