Bilateral International Relations Prelims cum Mains

India rejects U.K. proposal on DNA tests for ‘illegal migrants’

The News

  • India has rejected a proposal by the U.K. to use DNA sampling to establish the nationality of illegal migrants living there, citing “privacy issues”.



  • According to the British government’s estimates, there are around 1,00,000 Indians overstaying their visa in the U.K.
  • While as per India’s estimates, the number will not be more than 2,000.
  • Thus, in January 2017, Union Cabinet approved the contents of a MoU on “return of illegal migrants” to be signed with UK.
  • As per the original MoU, the security agencies in India were to verify the antecedents of document-less illegal migrants in the U.K within 72 days and those with documents within 15 days.
  • The pact with the Britain and Northern Ireland was cleared by the Union Cabinet in April.
  • It was to be signed during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to UK in April this year.
  • However, India pulled out of the pact saying the time frame was not feasible.

 Backed out due to Privacy and Ethical concerns:

  • In one of the meetings with the Indian officials, the U.K. authorities suggested that the nationality of document-less illegal migrants suspected to be Indians could be established by matching DNA samples of their family members living here.
  • However, India raised objections that this was a breach of privacy and unethical and thus rejected the proposal.

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