A study published recently in 2018 in reputed Scientific Journal “Nature Scientific Reports” by the Human Genetics Research Group of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University provided strong evidences based on Genetics refuting the much acclaimed “Aryan Invasion Theory”. The study has been supported by a grant to Dr. Swarkar Sharma, coordinator Human Genetics Research Group by National Geographic Society, USA. The paper is receiving great appreciation worldwide and has been creating a buzz in social media.
As evidences exist that ancestors of the human population of the world, originated in Africa and these ancestors migrated out of Africa and populated the world; India has served as a major corridor for modern human migration and was amongst the first regions of the world populated by humans once they left Africa. Of all the theories of migration and invasion most debated has been “Aryan Invasion Theory” which is often associated with Caste formation in the Nation. As most of the previous studies from India, Eurasia or studies, almost completely lacked sampling from the region of Jammu and Kashmir. Despite various scientific evidences discussions have kept the “Aryan Invasion Hypothesis” alive.
Dr. Swarkar Sharma coordinated the study with a team comprised of research scholars, “Indu Sharma and Varun Sharma from SMVDU”; “Akbar Khan” from Jammu University; Faculty from both Institutions “Dr. Ekta Rai and Dr. Parvinder Kumar”; “Prof. RNK Bamezai”, a well-known human Geneticist in India and “Dr. Miguel Vilar”, coordinator Genographic Project of National Geographic Society USA. The team specifically studies the maternal lineages in India. The team looked for mitochondrial DNA variations using Next Generation Sequencing Technologies and found it is not only few (already known and which are shared by other Indian population also as reported) but has lot new (potentially more than 19, found in the present study), indicating many new lineages exist (never reported earlier before). It justifies that Indian maternal lineages are not restricted to only few. The various type of high end analyses also indicated that ancestral maternal migrations not only happened prior to 20-30000 years before present but later too.
This study highlights, most of the migrations that contributed to genetic composition of Indian populations was not the males exclusively but migrations of the both genders and much before the anticipated time of origin of caste system in India. The most recent such contributory migrations probably had happened prior to approximately 10,000 years. There may have been some contributions associated with language dispersal from other regions to India or may be with agricultural expansion (cultural exchange and by preference selectively may be, for Indo-European language family), which needs to be critically evaluated further. The study concludes that no major invasion or migration has occurred that was of males exclusively which has shaped population of present India. It is important to note that major migrations of human populations through time, has been both for males and females before 8,000-10,000 years and caste system originated in India as social structure later, and became complicated in course of time. Dr. Sharma has claimed that this is a preliminary study of only 83 samples and it has provided such high diversity. More realities and facts can be unravelled if the sample size is increased and the study is extend further.