National DNA training academy to come up in Hyderabad

In a bid to provide a major boost to forensic science, the ''city of pearls'' is gearing up to accommodate an academy which will deal in training the young minds on the usage of DNA, which has proved to be crucial in decoding many mysteries.

The Hyderabad-based DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), an autonomous scientific institute funded by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), has proposed setting up of a national academy to encourage widespread application of DNA fingerprinting methods in solving the criminal cases.

 “The proposed Academy, in consultation with the Union Home Ministry and DBT, will train post-graduate science students in DNA profiling and analysis as there is a huge requirement for DNA analysis in the country,” CDFD Director J Gowrishankar said.
This technique now needs to be scaled up for widespread use and the required manpower needs to be created.

There is a requirement for at least 1,000 DNA examiners in the country while, at present, there are only 25 examiners, each of them handling about 100 cases annually.
The academy will offer short-term capsules for a six-week period and a one-year diploma course in DNA analysis.

It will also offer a two-year post-graduation programme in DNA technology.
There are also plans to get a deemed university status for the academy.

Procedural delay

Though the CDFD had submitted the proposal to the Centre long back, there has been a procedural delay in setting up the academy.

The main reason is the dilemma over whether the cadre of the proposed academy should be placed under the Home Ministry or the Ministry of Science and Technology.

  However, the need for improving the efficiency in forensic investigations and adoption of new technologies has been recognised by the authorities. The CDFD officials hope that the academy would take final shape soon.

  According to the official figures of the National Crime Records Bureau, the total number of violent crimes in the country in 2010, including murders, rapes and kidnaps, were 2,41,986, of which, only 27 per cent of the guilty were convicted.
In this scenario, the DNA profiling provides a fool-proof scientific method in crime detection.

Its results are beyond any doubt, when compared to other forensic tools like ballistic, chemical analysis and toxicology.  

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