Lalji Singh is no more: A tribute to the father of DNA fingerprinting in India

The widely acclaimed scientist, Padmashri Dr Lalji Singh was the pioneer of DNA Fingerprinting technology in India and known as an effective administrator and founder of many institutes and laboratories

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New Delhi: Dr Lalji Singh passed away on 10th December 2017 at Varanasi. The 70-year-old scientist known for his expertise in DNA fingerprinting rose from a humble background to be later popularly known as the “Father of Indian DNA fingerprinting”. His death has been widely condoled and has left a deep void among the scientific fraternity.

Born on 5 July 1947, Dr Singh worked in the field of DNA fingerprinting technology in India, where he was He also worked in the areas of the molecular basis of sex determination, Wildlife conservation forensics and evolution and migration of humans. In 2004, he received the Padma Shri in recognition of his contribution to Indian science and technology.

He founded various institutes and laboratories in India, including the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics in 1995, Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES) in 1998, and Genome Foundation in 2004, aiming to diagnose and treat genetic disorders affecting the Indian population, in particular the under-privileged people residing in rural India.

Dr Lalji Singh also served as the 25th Vice Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and Chairman of Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) Varanasi from August 2011 to August 2014.

Before his term as Vice-Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University, he also served as director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) from May 1998 to July 2009 and Officer on Special Duty (OSD) of Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), Hyderabad, India in 1995–1999.