Friday, Dec 12, 2003
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The panel, to be headed by a renowned microbiologist, will, among other things, assess the infrastructure requirements for DNA profiling, evolve uniform methods and standards to ensure quality examination of samples, and offer advise on the direction for research and development. It will also act as an advisory body in formulating a legislation on the various aspects of DNA profiling and crime investigation.
The Union Minister and Cabinet spokesperson, Sushma Swaraj, said the committee would include representatives from the police force, forensic science, legal fraternity and human rights and bio-ethic groups, apart from social activists. It would be expected to come up with a draft legislation on DNA profiling within two years.
The Cabinet, which met here on Wednesday, also cleared a new national policy for the youth, which seeks to address a range of issues, including education, training and employment, sports and recreation and arts and culture. The document details the privileges and responsibilities of the youth and identifies elimination of gender discrimination as a key thrust area. The policy also envisages the creation of a national youth development fund through contributions, which will be fully exempt from income tax.
The Cabinet cleared a proposal to bring uniformity among Chartered Accountants Act, Cost and Work Accountants Act and Company Secretaries Act through a Bill and to replace the out-dated Public Debt Act of 1944 with a new legislation called Government Securities Act. The move is intended to improve the working of the Reserve Bank of India. It also cleared a proposal for an extradition treaty with Kuwait and approved the ratification of WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control which seeks to promote world-wide action through measures such as a ban on advertisements, including sponsorship of sports and other events, and an increase in tax on tobacco products.
A total of 40 countries have to ratify the Convention before it comes into effect. So, far six have ratified it. India will be the seventh. The Convention was adopted at a meeting of the World Health Assembly (WHA), the governing body of WHO, held at Geneva on May 21. India had played a key role in the adoption of the Convention.
Ms. Swaraj, who is also the Union Health Minister, said the Centre would soon announce rules and regulations under the legislation enacted earlier this year to ban tobacco advertisements.
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