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DNA Bill can be misused: Draft report

  • IASbaba
  • August 25, 2020
  • 0
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DNA Bill can be misused: Draft report

Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-II – Legialations; GS-III – Science and Technology

In News:

  • A draft report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology has flagged the DNA bill.
  • Headed by: Jairam Ramesh
  • The report is yet to be finalized. 

Key takeaways 

  • According to the Committee: 
    • The bill could be misused for caste or community-based profiling. 
    • DNA profiles can reveal extremely sensitive information of an individual such as pedigree, skin colour, health status and susceptibility to diseases.
    • Disregard to an individual’s privacy and other safeguards is another concern. 
    • Consenting provision can be easily overridden by a magistrate, thereby, making consent perfunctory (no real effort). 
    • No guidance in the Bill as to when the magistrate can override consent.

Important value additions 

DNA Bill

  • It proposes DNA sampling and profiling of Indian citizens accused of crime or reported missing. 
  • It shall store their unique genetic information for administrative purposes. 
  • Nearly 60 countries have enacted similar legislation, with the U.S. bringing in a law in 1994.

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