The Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) and the University of Hyderabad (UoH) have embarked on a pioneering collaboration through a Memorandum of Understanding signed on 3rd of April, 2024. The MoU was officially endorsed by Dr. Devesh Nigam, Registrar of the University of Hyderabad and Prof. B.V. Sharma, Director of the Anthropological Survey of India, in the esteemed presence of distinguished dignitaries, including Prof B. J. Rao, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Appa Rao Podile, Senior Professor, Prof Anand Kondapi, Senior Professor and Dean, School of Life Sciences, Prof Samrat Sabat, Director, R&D Cell and Prof. H.A. Nagarajaram, Coordinator and PI, DBT-Centre for Microbial Informatics (DBT-CMI), School of Life Sciences.

This partnership marks a monumental step forward in advancing knowledge within the realm of human gut microbial DNA analysis. AnSI, with its illustrious seven-decade legacy in Anthropological research, venturing into a groundbreaking national project titled ‘Gut Microbial Genomic Study among the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) of India’, AnSI aims to unravel the intricacies of microbial genetics within these communities. Conversely, the University of Hyderabad houses the DBT-Centre for Microbial Informatics (DBT-CMI), a leading Bioinformatics/Computational Biology Centre armed with state-of-the-art computational biology tools and expertise. This synergistic partnership is poised to generate comprehensive profiles of population-specific gut microbiomes profile and probe into the repercussions of dietary variations and biomedical interventions on microbial diversity. By prioritizing data sharing, training initiatives, and continual monitoring, this collaboration represents a significant leap forward in deepening our comprehension of human-environment relationships. Furthermore, it holds profound implications for the health and well-being of the PVTGs of India, dispersed across diverse geographical landscapes nationwide.

The partnership between AnSI and the UoH emphasizes a mutual commitment to advancing scientific understanding and promoting favourable outcomes for these communities (PVTGs). By fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and employing cutting-edge research methodologies, this partnership endeavours to reveal transformative insights into human biology, health, and their interplay with the environment.