THE WORKSHOP `A quest for visionary policies and to address new frontiers for responsive governance and legal system’ organised by State Information Technology Department and NGOs here today threw up some significant recommendations on IT invasion and cyber crime, genetic engineering (GE) and gender discrimination.
The recommendations evolved during discussions held by three groups at the venue. The recommendations were submitted to State IT & Energy Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya late this evening, who will place them before Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for policy decision.
Before the experts assembled to make recommendations, IG Shailendra Shrivastav made a presentation on cyber crime, Dr Suman Sahai talked about harmful effects of genetic engineered seeds and crops, while Dr G S Kabra discussed medico-legal aspect of sex determination and female foeticide.
The recommendations on genetic engineering submitted by Dr Sahai’s group demanded formation of national policy on agricultural biotechnology after consultation with multi-stake holders and called for stopping commercial release of genetically modified seeds till formation of such a policy.
The other suggestion was holding a debate by experts on country’s GE needs incorporating social, cultural and economic aspect and having a public debate on its cost risk benefit analysis. The group suggested intensive public education programme to enable the population to decide what is best for them.
The group advocated evolving indigenous GE technology, which is tested by competent authorities and appealed to avoid technologies that small and marginal farmers cannot use and which are a threat to environment and food security. The group laid equal stress on conservation of agricultural biodiversity.
The group on IT invasion and cyber crime, headed by IT Department Secretary Anurag Shrivastav, proposed formation of cyber café monitoring policy, creating helpline for citizens, creating more resources for detection of cyber crime, training prosecutors, appointing cyber safety unit volunteers from public and setting up cyber police station in every district.
On legal side, it advised introducing LLB courses on cyber law, creation of cyber courts with well-defined procedure and creating awareness about the crime with special reference to children. Another proposal was creation of citizen’s identity that contains basic details about each denizen. Shrivastav said a cyber crime-monitoring centre would be set up in Bhopal soon.
The group on gender discrimination led by Dr Kabra discussed difference between foeticide, female foeticide and female foetal loss. The group said it was a woman’s right to go for medical termination of pregnancy in first trimester (within 12 weeks), as it was a stage where sex determination was difficult.
However, it should not be permitted in second trimester unless it’s a rape-induced pregnancy, there is a congenital deformity in foetus or further growth of foetus is a threat to mother’s life.
Making further suggestion, it said that each case of foetal examination should be reported to Chief Medical and Health Officer and monitored. In addition, the group laid emphasis on generating social awareness to prevent discrimination against girl child.