Gist of Editorials: Towards a Genetic Panopticon (The Hindu) | GS – III

Relevance : GS Paper III (Science and Technology)

[1300 words reduced to 150]

  • The DNA Bill, 2018 is to be considered by the Rajya Sabha.
  • Problems with the draft Bill:
    • disregards ethical dilemmas
    • treats DNA as infallible
    • infringement of civil liberties is seen as legitimate trade-off
    • proposed law is vague
    • allows DNA collection in civil cases as well
    • failure to place sufficient checks on the misuse of DNA evidence
    • a range of privacy protections are absent in the Bill
    • enhances the State’s coercive powers
  • Why do we need a DNA law?
    • Genes encoded in DNA are important tool in forensic science
    • DNA profile helps in establishing the identity of a suspect.
    • only a small amount of genetic material is needed to create DNA profile.
    • DNA evidence used across the world in complex investigations.
  • We should not the government untrammelled access to deeply personal material.