Dr Harsh Vardhan bats for DNA Technology Bill

    The important DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018 that has been hanging fire since decades, seeks to create a national DNA database for use by the police to solve crimes and identify missing persons

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    File Photo-Dr Harsh Vardhan.

    New Delhi: The union government is keen to pass the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018 that has been introduced in the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) recently. The Bill seeks to regulate the use of DNA technology for the purposes of establishing the identity of certain categories of persons including the victims, offenders, suspects, undertrials, missing persons and unknown deceased persons.

    Despite being conceptualized long back, the bill hasn’t seen the light of the day as it has been facing criticism from various quarters including the activists who say it would be an infringement on privacy of the people. In the battle between ethics and need, the bill couldn’t sail through during earlier attempts by previous governments.

    However, now the Union Minister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan has openly supported the passage of the Bill. He tried to allay the fears by saying that the central government has taken every precaution with respect to protecting privacy of individuals and that the Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha only after a thorough and exhaustive vetting process.

    Earlier the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 4, 2018 had approved Bill that seeks to create a national DNA database for use by the police to solve crimes and identify missing persons.

    Speaking after inaugurating the new laboratory at the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) in Hyderabad, the Minister pointed out that the Bill was first proposed about 20 years ago but several bottlenecks prevented its progress. Dr Vardhan called the legislation ‘sensitive’ and said that it had undergone the greatest possible scrutiny in terms of law, views and opinions of stakeholders and technology-related issues.