India to set up DNA data banks

New Delhi: India will set up several DNA data banks at the national and state levels to strengthen forensic investigation, Science and Technology Minister Prithviraj Chavan told parliament Thursday.

A draft bill has already been circulated among the ministries and departments concerned, he said in the Rajya Sabha.

"The draft bill having provision for establishment of DNA data banks both at the national and state levels was circulated to the ministry of home affairs, Bureau of Police Research and Development, Central Bureau of Investigation, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Planning Commission, ministry of finance, department of science and technology, ministry of defence, legislative department of the ministry of law and justice, and the directorate of forensic science," Chavan said.

"The comments have been obtained. The draft bill is being sent to all the states for their comments," the minister added.

He said various ministries and departments have given their opinion on "confidentiality of information and penalties for misuse or abuse thereof, size, composition and tenure of members of the DNA Profiling Board, its powers and functions and administrative support".

Comments have been received on the possible data sharing between the national and state DNA data banks, approval norms for DNA profiling laboratories and "procedures for expungement of records from the data bank".

The minister, however, said that the finalisation of the bill involves further consultation with the states followed by cabinet approval.


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