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Subcontinent's African link

A new study by the National Chemical Laboratory claims that the Indian subcontinent was populated by migrations from Eastern Africa and the Middle East.

tech reviews Updated: Jun 28, 2003 20:26 IST

Anew study claims that the ancestors of people living in the Indian subcontinent came from Eastern Africa and Middle East, giving a new twist to the controversy over the origin of peoplehere.

"The Indian subcontinent was populated by migrations from Eastern Africa through southern routes, caucasian migration from the Middle East and has contributed to the South-East Asians as well as received some admixture from them," an official release said quoting a study by scientists at National Chemical Laboratory.

The study attempts to belie the theory promoted by Sangh Parivar that Aryans were the original inhabitants of the land and also another widely accepted theory that they migrated from Central Asia.

It suggests that more than 60 per cent of the Indians belong to the 'M' haplogroup which is not found in Europeans and Middle Easterners.

The NCL scientists discovered a connecting Indian and African mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotype which can suggest a migration of 'M' from Eastern Africa, it said adding, scientists also found a few Caucasian lineages in Indians which are not exactly similar to the European types.

The first study on human migration to Indian Sub-continent was carried out by high resolution site mapping and sequencing of hyper-variable region of the mtDNA, which can be used to trace maternal ancestry.

That a number of mtDNA types are shared between the Indians and South-East Asians clearly suggests that there were some migrations from India to South-East Asia, the study said.

First Published: Jun 28, 2003 00:00 IST