Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday inaugurated a Regional Forensic Science Laboratory at Ballari and launched the Smart E-beat application across Karnataka aimed at augmenting scientific investigation facilities in the state by the Karnataka State Police (KSP). Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Home Minister Aaraga Jnanendra were present on the occasion.
Bommai, in his 2022-23 budget speech, had announced adding new sections to the laboratories to increase testing capacity at Kalaburagi, Mangaluru, Davanagere, Ballari, and Mysuru.
For induction training of scientific officers and scene of crime officers (SOCOs), the state police signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Forensic Science University, Gujarat, a government statement read.
While the state government has provided Rs 48 crore to the KSP, the Centre is supporting them through modernization and the Nirbhaya Fund, it added.
The statement further said the testing capacity of laboratories increased from 16,000 to 24,000 tests annually between 2014 and 2021. The government intends to increase its capacity to 48,000 by 2023.
Human resource additions in the past three years include 206 SOCOs, who are provided with forensic science vehicles for sample collection and testing, 153 scientific officers, and 42 assistants.
Shah also launched the Smart E-beat System across Karnataka, in a move to execute smart policing by the KSP, replacing the traditional beat system that uses physical books and signatures of the police.
According to the release, this system will enable automation, transparency, and accountability among the police. Presently, the app services 50,000 installed beat points across Karnataka. It uses QR code-enabled beat points with geographical coordinates and scan facilities on mobile and provides lists of suspects residing in the beat and their fingerprints.
Shah also inaugurated Nrupathunga University (formerly Government Science College, Bengaluru), a unitary university under Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA 2.0).
As per the university’s press release, Rs 55 crore has been sanctioned by the Centre under RUSA. While Rs 4.73 crore is allocated for new equipment purchases, the remaining Rs 50.27 crore will be used for constructing new buildings and renovating existing ones.
The university attributes its name and ethos to Amoghavarsha Nrupathunga, the ninth-century monarch of the Rashtrakuta dynasty of Karnataka.