S&T-India Keywords


1.         Govt. bats for sharing biological research data

Govt. bats for sharing biological research data

  • A draft note from the government on use and sharing of biological data requires researchers who collect such data and use public funds for the same, to ensure that this data is made public within two years at the latest.
  • The draft document, called the Biological Data Storage, Access and Sharing Policy of India, is primarily meant to address a long-standing peeve (irritation) among many scientists, that several scientists use government funds to conduct research and collect biological specimens and data such as DNA samples, cell and tissue samples, store these details in databases and often lock them up — sometimes for good, barring access to other researchers and scientists who may be interested in them.
  • This leads to duplication of data collection exercises, lost opportunities to access data collected over the years and a wastage of public money.
  • “Raw (Level-1) data must be shared, by placement on a database identified and approved by the funding agency of the Government of India, within one year of generation of the data. If no such database is identified by the agency, then raw data must be made available to anyone working in any Indian institution, public or private, requesting for these data,” says the draft note which is open for public comments until July 31.
  • While data generated from public funds will now be open to private companies too, the data has to be excised of all features that would identify individuals, the draft note adds.

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