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DNA Technology Regulation Bill, 2018-What, Why and How

Relevancy

  • GS Paper-2, Government Policies

Why in news?

  • The Cabinet recently approved the DNA Technology Regulation Bill, 2018.

What is the Bill about?

  • The Bill is about the mandatory accreditation and regulation of DNA laboratories.
  • It seeks to ensure that the DNA test results are reliable.
  • It also ensures that the data remain protected from misuse or abuse in terms of the privacy rights of citizens.

The Bill’s provisions will enable the cross-matching between:-

  • Persons who have been reported missing
  • Unidentified dead bodies
  • Victims in mass disasters

What will the DNA banks do?

  • The government will set up DNA data banks across India to store profiles.
  • It imposes jail term of up to 3 years and a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh on those who leak the information stored in such facilities.
  • These banks will maintain a national database for identification of victims, accused, suspects, undertrials, missing persons and unidentified human remains.

What is DNA Profiling Board?

The Bill creates a DNA Profiling Board that would be the final authority to –

  • Authorize the creation of State-level DNA databanks
  • Approve the methods of collection
  • Analyze DNA-technologies

What is the objective?

  • Forensic DNA profiling helps in offences categorized as affecting the human body and those against property.
  • It includes murder, rape, human trafficking, or grievous hurt and theft, burglary, dacoity.
  • National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) put the number of such crimes in excess of 3 lakhs per year.
  • Of these, only a very small proportion is being subjected to DNA testing at present.
  • The primary purpose of the Bill is thus to expand the application of DNA-based forensic technologies.
  • The expanded use of DNA technology in these cases would result in speedier justice delivery.
  • It could also help in increased conviction rates, which at present is only around 30%.

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