India is a vast country with diverse terrain and home to equally highly diverse population representing over four thousand anthropologically well-defined populations. Traditionally, we Indians, are grouped under a larger "South Asia" lable when it comes to DNA-based ancestry. This is due to the lack of background genetic data for Indian population. We embarked on a journey to change this.
Few months ago we partnered with Gencove and launched the YouGenomics India Project. USA residents of South Asian origin were invited to participate in a pilot study in an attempt to improve the ancestry estimates for South Asia. A large number of individuals from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka participated. This small pilot project gave us the ability to provide better ancestry estimates for the South Asian region. Many thanks to all our early adopters and the amazingly talented team at Gencove. Below is an example of our updated ancestry estimates. Previously we were able to predict ancestry only at the continent level, e.g. "South Asia". We can now go down to the sub-continent level and precisely split "South Asia" into three ancestral groups - “Central Indian subcontinent”, “Southern Indian subcontinent”, and “Bengal”. For sure there is a lot to be done but we have shown what can be achieved within a short period of time using the power of modern genetics and enthusiastic volunteers.