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Forensic Sciences

Career Opportunities-Educational Institutes

Career Opportunities

Forensic Science is primarily concerned with the application of scientific principles for the investigation of crime. Using the very latest in technology, forensic scientists convert the clues collected from a crime scene into evidence admissible in a court of law. It is the use or application of science in courts or legal proceedings. This is a challenging and interesting field for those who have are inquisitive and loves adventure.

Forensic scientists analyze all physical evidence found on a victim on the scene of a crime and compare it to evidence found on a suspect and provide expert testimony in a court of law. The evidences might include traces of blood, saliva, other body fluids, hair, fingerprints, footwear and tyre impressions, explosives, speci-mens of tissue for poisons, blood and urine for alcohol etc. Their expertise lies in the determination of facts using these evidences. They have to prepare a report of their investigation and appear in the court to give evidence. They work closely with the police to provide scientific evidence that is admissible in the court. 

Eligibility :

For Masters Course: To take up a masters course in forensic science you need to be a graduate preferably with a first division in Physics, chemistry, zoology, botany, biochemistry, micro-biology, B.pharma, BDS or applied science.  To become a specialist who conducts post-mortems on dead bodies to find out the cause of death, you must first secure an MBBS degree and then go for an MD in Forensic Science. All  Indian Universities that offer MBBS courses also offer an MD in Forensic Science. 

For Research : Indian nationals below 30 years and who have obtained 1st class marks in Masterís degree in any one of the subjects : Physics/Chemistry/Biochemistry/Anthropology/Zoology/Molecular Biology/Maths (with Physics as one of the subjects at the bachelor degree level)/Biotechnology/Microbiology/ Computer Science/Computer Engineering/Forensic Psychology etc. or M.Phil in the same subjects whichever is the essential qualification for the award of PhD degree of a recognized Indian University.

Professional Skills: An inquisitive nature and a concern for accuracy is the main attribute required to be in this field. They must have keen observation, intelligence, an eye for detail, ability to work along with a team, a logical, practical and methodical approach. An aptitude for scientific analysis is essential. Good colour vision is required by some labs. A criminal record or history of drink/drug problems could result in exclusion.

Job Prospects:

They can find employment with law enforcement agencies, police, legal system and in the investigative services of the government and also private agencies. They can also work as teachers in institutes that conduct courses in this subject.

Opportunities for forensic scientists exist in government organizations such as the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and as investigative officers in the crime cells of state police forces. Forensic experts essentially work in forensic labs and sometimes even in large private detective agencies to establish the link between the criminal and the crime. 

 There are variety of options for forensic professionals. They can specialise in subjects as varied as medicine, engineering, finger-printing, insect study, languages, geology etc.

Crime Scene Investigation : Scene investigation involves issues such as security, prevention of contamination, locating and collecting relevant items of evidence, interpretation of evidence and possible reconstruction of the event. Scenes can range from a relatively simple house break to a fire in a multi-storey building or a city bombing.

Qualification required : Diploma in Forensic Investigation or Degree in Forensic  Investigation or Degree in Analytical Chemistry.

Forensic Pathology/Medicine : Forensic pathologists determine the time and cause of death in cases of suspected murder or suicide. This involves post mortem examinations of deaths reported to determine the cause and the manner of death. (i.e. sudden and unexpected deaths or deaths due to accident or injury, suicide or homicide). 

Qualification required : Medical degree (MBBS) with M.D or appropriate post-graduate qualifications in Forensic Science.

Forensic Anthropology : Forensic anthropologists use their knowledge of human skeletal anatomy to assist in the identification of skeletal remains. They are called to identify individuals murdered or killed in disasters such as plane crashes, explosions, fires and other tragedies resulting in the loss of life and mutilation of bodies. They may also be able to discover the age, sex, ancestry, stature, and unique features of the deceased.

Qualification required : A Ph.D in anthropology with an emphasis on the study of human osteology and anatomy or a Medical degree (MBBS) with appropriate post-graduate qualifications.

Forensic Psychology and Psychiatry : Psychiatry and psychology are concerned with whether a mental state may be a mitigating circumstance in the commission of an alleged crime, whether a person is mentally fit to stand trial and treating those convicted of crimes who are mentally ill. A forensic psychologist is any psychologist who by virtue of training or experience may assist a court or other fact finder in arriving at a just or correct decision.
Forensic psychologists or psychiatrists may be called on to evaluate a murder scene to suggest a possible psychological profile of the killer.

Qualification required : Medical degree (MBBS) with appropriate post-graduate qualifications

Forensic Dentistry (Odontology) : It is a branch of dentistry which deals with the collection, evaluation and proper handling of dental evidence in order to assist law enforcement officers and in civil & criminal proceedings. The role of the odontologist is to identify bodies and skeletal remains from dental records, reconstruct faces from skulls and where possible, interpret bite marks. 

Qualification required : Degree in Dentistry, Post Graduate Diploma of Forensic Odontology.

Clinical Forensic Medicine : Those involved in clinical forensic medicine amongst other things, examine victims of crime and suspects who may have sustained an injury while allegedly committing a crime. They give interpretations of their findings such as the possible causes and timing of the injuries.

Qualification required : Medical degree (MBBS) with appropriate post-graduate qualifications.

Forensic Serology : Forensic serology is the study of blood groups, blood, and other bodily fluids for identification purposes following a crime. Forensic serologists also carry out DNA fingerprinting, which offers the possibility of positive identification of an individual from samples of blood or semen. 

Forensic Chemist : Areas of work includes the detection and identification of illicit drugs, accelerants used in arson cases, explosive and gunshot residues, trace evidence, including paint, glass, polymers and fibres.

Qualification required : Science degree with a major in analytical, applied or forensic chemistry.

Forensic linguists : Forensic linguists analyze the content of written or oral communication to identify who is speaking and indicate the speakerís intent, and can determine whether two communications are from the same person. This is obviously important in cases of kidnapping.

Ballistics : Ballistics is the study of the flight paths of projectiles, but modern ballistics now includes the study of everything to do with firearms. It also involves the determination of the angle and distance a gun was fired from to hit a specific target.

Qualification required : Science degree with a major in a relevant discipline, Diploma in forensic investigation, Degree in forensic investigation.

Forensic Engineer :  Deals with traffic accidents, fire investigations, and a variety of wrongful injury cases.  Engineers are involved in failure analysis, accident reconstruction, causes and origins of fires or explosions, quality evaluation of construction or manufacturing etc.

Qualification required : An Engineering degree with post-graduate qualifications in Forensic Engineering.

Salary for various state forensics departments would be as per government pay scales. The state department salaries begin around Rs. 8,000 per month and increases according to the rank and years of experience. Forensic scientists holing postgraduate qualifications can expect to start with a salary of Rs.12,000 - Rs.18,000 p.m depending on the nature of the organization. Private forensic laboratories offer lucrative pay packages to scientists with a few years of experience behind them.

Educational Institutes:

  • Amity University. Course: B.Sc. (Hons.) in Forensic Sciences

  • Forensic Sciences Depart-ment, "Forensic House", 30-A, Kamarajar Salai, Mylapore, Chennai 600004.

  • Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar University, Senate House, Paliwal Park, Agra 282004.

  • Punjabi University, Patiala 147002

  • University of Delhi, Delhi 110007

  • Anna University, Chennai 600025

  • Karnatak University, Pavate Nagar, Dharwad 580003

  • Doctor Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya, Gour Nagar, Sagar 470003

  • University of Lucknow, Badshah Bagh, Lucknow- 226007

  • Punjab University, Chandigarh

  • Institute of Criminology & Forensic Science, 4-E Jhandewalan Extn, Rani Jhansi Road, New Delhi 110056.

  • Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science, Delhi

  • Dr.Harisingh Gour Vishwa Vidyalaya, Gour Nagar, Sagar, Madhya Pradesh.

  • Forensic Sciences Depart-ment, "Forensic House", 30-A, Kamarajar Salai, Mylapore, Chennai 600004.

  • Institute of Criminology & Forensic Science, 4-E Jhandewalan Extn, Rani Jhansi Road, New Delhi 110056.

  • Central Forensic Laboratory, Kolkata, CFIs Complex, 30 Gorachand Road, Kolkata 700014.

  • Guru Gobind Singh Indra-prastha University, Kashmere Gate, Delhi-110006, India.

  • Allahabad Agriculture Institute-Deemed University, Allahabad.

 

Research options

  • Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Hyderabad, CFIs Complex, Ramanathapur, Hyderabad 500013.

  • Neutron Activation Analysis Unit, BARC, Mumbai.

  • Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Chandigarh, CFIs Complex, Sector 36A, Chandigarh 160036.

  • Central Forensic Laboratory, Kolkata, CFIs Complex, 30 Gorachand Road, Kolkata 700014.

  • Centre for DNA Fingerprinting diagnostics (CDFD); Hyderabad, DBT supported autonomous   institute. Offers PhD programmes.

  • Indian Industrial Toxicology Research Centre, Post Box No. 80, Mahatma Gandhi Marg Lucknow - 226 001, India. Phone (Director's Office): +91-522-2621856, 2628227, 2613357. http://www.iitrindia.org/. Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR) (formerly: Industrial Toxicology Research Centre), is a constituent laboratory of CSIR. It studies the impact of industrial and environmental chemicals on human health and ecosystem, and environmental monitoring of pollutants in air, water and soil. The institute also helps regulatory bodies to formulate/amend guidelines for safe use of chemicals or products. Major research areas are Analytical Chemistry, Aquatic toxicology, Biomembrane Toxicology, Cardiovascular Toxicology, Cell Biology, Developmental Toxicology, Dyes & Food Adulterant Toxicology, Ecotoxicology, Embryotoxicology , Environmental Biotechnology , Environmental Carcinogenesis, Environmental Chemistry &  Waste Water Analysis, Environmental Microbiology, Environmental Monitoring, Epidemiology, Fibre Toxicology, Herbal Research, Immunobiology, Immunotoxicology, Inhalation Toxicology, Neurotoxicology, Pesticides Toxicology, Petroleum Toxicology, Photobiology, Preventive Toxicology, Proteomics, Safety Evaluation of GM-Drugs, Toxicokinetics, Toxicogenomics & Predictive Toxicology.

 

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