DNA Profiles won’t be stored permanently :-
- DNA details stored in DNA Databank
- India’s proposed DNA databank, to be used during investigation into crimes or to find missing persons, will not permanently store details of people.
- The DNA details will be removed once the case is over, subject to “judicial orders” said a senior official Renu Swarup, Secretary, in the Department of Biotechnology.
- The Board, in consultation with members of the judiciary, will frame rules on how long the DNA details of an entrant on a crime index would be maintained.
- The rules will come after Parliament approves the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018.
About DNA Technology (Use and application) Regulation Bill 2018 :-
- To help in investigations, there would be a central data bank as well as regional ones, and these would store DNA profiles under various heads, such as a ‘crime scene index’ or ‘suspects index’ or ‘offenders index.’
- The 11-member Board, according to the proposed legislation, is supposed to be the regulatory authority that will grant accreditation to DNA laboratories.
- The aim of that draft legislation was to establish an institutional mechanism to collect and deploy DNA technologies to identify persons based on samples collected from crime scenes or to identify missing persons.
Survey launched to rank States on rural cleanliness :-
The Centre has launched the Swachh Survekshan Grameen, 2018, a nationwide survey of rural India to rank the cleanest and dirtiest States and districts on the basis of qualitative and quantitative evaluation.
Under Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2018 :-
- A random selection of 6, 980 villages across 698 districts will surveyed during the month of August.
- The rankings will be based on three basic parameters :-
♦ Direct observation of public places by independent surveyors
♦ Service-level progress using data from the Swachh Bharat Mission’s information system
♦ Citizens’ feedback.
- The feedback will be solicited through village meetings, online feedback and direct interviews, as well as discussions with key influencer’s such as local officials, elected representatives and anganwadi workers.
Conferring Eminence :-
- The NDA government had the theme of excellence in its 2016 annual budget, with a proposal to make 10 institutions each in the public and private sectors globally competitive.
- The IoEs can become models of autonomy, academic innovation and equity of access, and lead to a transformation of higher education.
- The challenge of excellence is to develop liberal institutions founded on academic rigour, high scholarship and equitable access for all classes of students.
- The Ministry of Human Resource Development has taken the decision to give Institution of Eminence (IoE) status to six institutes, three each from the public and private sectors which will help the select few rise above the many State, Central and private universities, national-level institutes of technology, science, management and humanities, and attract talent.
♦ The IITs at Mumbai and Delhi and the IISc in the public category
♦ BITS Pilani and the Manipal Academy of Higher Education, which are private & Jio Institute, which is yet to come up, generated understandable controversy.
What needs to keep in mind ?
It should be ensured that this conditional recognition is fulfilled transparently, and that it meets the requirements on governance structure, infrastructure and faculty within three years.
What reforms need to be taken ?
- During the selection process the empowered committee found that State universities had a low output because some of them had several faculty members recruited on contract basis, with no incentive to do research. Such ad hocism must end, and public universities should be insulated from political pressures.
- Vice-chancellors should be appointed on merit, free of ideological biases.
- With good governance structures and significant new financial grants, the selected public institutions will be able to innovate on courses and encourage research. The growth of these and other national institutions will also depend on policies to raise the expenditure on R&D as a percentage of GDP.
- The long-term goal should be to raise the quality of higher education in all institutions through academic reform.
- Initiatives by charitable trusts — which have declined due to political support for commercialisation and aid cuts — must be welcomed, as this would help open more affordable colleges and universities.