Strengthening DNA analysis, labs in 23 state/UTs under Nirbhaya Fund: Govt

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has approved projects for strengthening DNA analysis, cyber-forensics and related facilities in 23 states/UTs under the Nirbhaya Fund Scheme, the Parliament was informed on Thursday.

“The Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology has formulated ‘The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill’ to provide, regulation of the use and application of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) technology with the aim to establish the identity of certain categories of person including the victims, offenders, suspects, under trials, missing persons and unknown deceased person,” Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

The draft Bill, which is under consideration, has the provision to set up DNA data banks across the country to store DNA profiles, he said.

In order to ensure quality and standardisation in forensic examination, which includes cases related to DNA-based forensic tests, the Directorate of Forensic Science Services (DFSS), under the MHA, has issued quality manual and working procedure manuals for biology and DNA division, and guidelines for collection of forensic evidence in sexual assault cases and the standard components in a sexual assault evidence collection kit, the Minister said.

For capacity building, 23,233 Investigation Officers, Prosecution Officers, and Medical Officers have been trained on collection of forensic evidence in sexual assault cases and the standard components in a sexual assault evidence collection kit, he added.

A state-of-the-art DNA analysis laboratory has also been set up by MHA in the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory, Chandigarh.

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