UMMID initiative

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    8th Oct, 2019


The Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched UMMID (Unique Methods of Management and treatment of Inherited Disorders) initiative and inaugurated NIDAN (National Inherited Diseases Administration) Kendras


Why need UMMID?

  • The contribution of genetic disorders to infant and childhood mortality and morbidity is increasing.
  • In India’s urban areas, congenital malformations and genetic disorders are the third most common cause of mortality in new-borns. With a very large population and high birth rate, and consanguineous marriage favoured in many communities, prevalence of genetic disorders is high in India.
  • The congenital and hereditary genetic diseases are becoming a significant health burden in India, and there was the need for adequate and effective genetic testing and counselling services.
    • Though there are excellent medical genetics centres in India providing state?of?the?art patient care services to families with genetic disorders, the number of such centres is small.
    • Hence establishment of patient care services for genetic disorders is the need of the time.
    • Therefore the Department of Biotechnology has initiated the UMMID program to establish many genetic diagnostic centres in different parts of the country.
    • To achieve this, a combined program of training doctors in genetic diagnostics and providing funding to establish genetic diagnostic laboratories and to create awareness about genetic disorders amongst doctors and lay persons, has been meticulously planned.

About UMMID:

  • The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has started the UMMID (Unique Methods of Management and treatment of Inherited Disorders) Initiative which is designed on the concept of ‘Prevention is better than Cure’.
  • UMMID aims to create awareness about genetic disorders amongst clinicians to establish molecular diagnostic in hospitals. 

Goals of UMMID initiative:

  • To establish NIDAN (National Inherited Diseases Administration) Kendras to provide counselling, prenatal testing and diagnosis, management, and multidisciplinary care in Government Hospitals wherein the influx of patients is more.
  • To produce skilled clinicians in Human Genetics.
  • To undertake screening of pregnant women and new born babies for inherited genetic diseases in hospitals at aspirational districts.

What is a genetic disorder?

  • A genetic disorder is a disease that is caused by a change, or mutation, in an individual’s DNA sequence. It is an illness caused by changes in a person’s DNA.

Genetic disorders can be grouped into three main categories:

  • Single gene disorders:These disorders are caused by defects in one particular gene, often with simple and predictable inheritance patterns.


  • Huntington’s disease: It is a single gene disorder that occurs when an individual has one altered copy of the relevant gene and one healthy copy.
  • Cystic fibrosis: It is a single gene disorder that only occurs when an individual has two altered versions of the relevant gene.
    • Chromosome disorders:These disorders result from changes in the number or structure of the chromosomes.


  • Down’s syndrome: It is a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in an extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21.
    • Multifactorial disorders: These disorders are caused by changes in multiple genes, often in a complex interaction with environmental and lifestyle factors such as diet or cigarette smoke.

Example: Cancer


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