Bindu Shajan Perappadan

Proposal to set up a world-class DNA profiling laboratory

NEW DELHI: The Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) modernisation drive is expected to benefit Delhi as there is a proposal to set up an exclusive world class Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid (DNA) profiling laboratory at Army Research and Referral Hospital here by 2007.

The AFMS has already made public its proposal to set up a DNA profiling unit at Armed Forces Medical College in Pune, the blueprint for which has been forwarded to the competent authority. The Pune facility will be set up at a cost of Rs. 3 crores to 4 crores by mid-2006. This will be followed by setting up of the Delhi unit after necessary clearances.

"This latest facility is a must for the forces as it will help us keep medical data of every individual. In case of disaster, accident or other unfortunate events, when bodies get mutilated beyond recognition, DNA profiling will come handy for identification,'' said the AFMS Director-General, Vice-Admiral V. K. Singh, speaking about the modernisation programme that will cover all armed forces medical institutions.

Adding that all leading armed forces in the world, including the United States and Britain, had already started DNA profiling of their defence personnel, he noted: "DNA profiling will ensure that all bodies get respectful disposal. Previously we were using personal luggage, birthmarks and photographs for identifications, with this new technology things would become a lot easier for us."