Theories of human presence and migration into and out of India have always been controversial. Were the Aryans indigenous to India or did they migrate from central Asia? Was there an invasion and subjugation of local populations or co-habitation and slow assimilation?
Now researchers have gone even further back in time and added another chapter to the story of human evolution in India. Evolutionary biologists and geneticists from Dept. of Evolution and Ecology, University of Patna say that they have pinpointed using mitochondrial genes and Y chromosome genes the dates of the first human migrations into India.
Mitochondria are inherited through the female line. The analysis shows that the mitochondrial coalescent i.e. the date of the most recent common ancestor of living mitochondria in India is about 60,000 years ago. On the other hand the coalescent for the Y chromosome, genetic material inherited only through males is about 30,000 years old in India.
The lead researcher Dr. Adi Manav said that this shows that human females migrating out of Africa entered India before males. The pattern is unmistakable he said. Early human females were smarter and more adventurous than males.
The map below shows the migration patterns of females and males mapped using different mitochondrial and Y chromosome markers.
Asking the media to stick to the facts and not to indulge in dramatic and sensational reporting Dr. Adi Manav said that they were still working on some minor details like how a female only population managed to survive for about 30,000 years without male presence.
He added confidently that :
Genetics doesn't lie. In keeping with the highest traditions of scientific inquiry at Univ. of Patna, now that we know what definitely happened we will come up with a story for how it happened.