Byomkesh Bakshi and Sam D’Silva, one can call them the pioneer detectives of murder mystery in the Indian television industry. What made them an instant hit was the gripping script (cases) that led us all glued to the edge of our chairs.
Dexter Morgan from Dexter and Gil Grissom from CSI are some names from the west, who made us think that their profession is pretty darn cool.
Although TV series makes the profession look very glamourous , forensic scientists play an important role in solving crime cases by recovering evidence from a crime scene and analysing and presenting them in court .
Now that you are all hypnotised by these serials, novels and your curiosity is all piqued, that you want to pursue this as your profession, I would like you to go through this post.
In this article, I will be covering everything that is required for you to become a forensic scientist. Right from eligibility requirement to the skill you should have. Let us start and unravel the mystery that is forensic science!!
#1. What is Forensic Science ?
Forensic science is the application of science for the purposes of justice. It helps to investigate crime in order to present unbiased scientific evidence which can be presented in court of law.
Forensic scientists need to have scientific knowledge from fields such as chemistry, biology and physics, to recognise, identify and evaluate physical evidence during an investigation. They assist Investigation Officer (Police) in collection of evidence and their analysis in laboratory using a variety of techniques.
As part of your forensic science studies, you will need skills to analyse and handle physical evidence from crime scenes, write reports and give testimony in the court of law.
#2 What Are the Sub-fields in Forensic Science?
There are many subfields within Forensic Science, such as the following.
|Fields||What It Is All About|
|Fingerprints||Involves lifting, development, preservation of fingerprints. Comparison of fingerprints to find out if it is from same person or different.|
|Ballistics||This division provides facilities for examination of a variety of samples related to Firearms, bullets, cartridge case, pallets, wads, etc|
|Forensic Biology &Serology||The examination of varieties of biological samples are undertaken in Biology Division, which includes -bones, hair, fibres, diatoms. In serology , samples like Blood, semen, saliva, other body fluids, are analysed.|
|Forensic DNA analysis||Specialises in biological evidence (e.g. blood, saliva) for DNA analysis and paternity testing for rape cases, etc.|
|Forensic toxicology||Involves identifying drugs, alcohol, poison and other substances in the human body and animals, particularly in cases involving poisoning|
|Drugs and narcotics||Examines all the narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances, which fall under NDPS Act. Drugs and Narcotics Division. Some examples are cannabis, cocaine, codeine, etc|
|Questioned document||Evaluates documents and its components, such as handwriting, signature and ink composition, for authenticity, counterfeit currencies, rubber stamps and seals.|
|Explosives||Chemical tests relating to explosives and explosive residues are done in this division. The different types of explosives, timing devices, initiating mechanism, etc. used in explosions are identified.|
|Physics||Glass fractures, paints, building materials like cements, chips and concrete mortar etc, footprints , tyre marks, Restoration of chasis number, Speaker identification|
|Digital Forensic||Analysis of Mobile phone/ memory card/pen drive/ hard disk/ CD/DVD/ and other memory device/ Laptop and Desk top computer|
|Photography||Personnel belonging to this division visit scene of crime to photograph the scene extensively. These photographs are used to maintain chain of custody and also while presenting the case in court and also in crime scene reconstruction.|
The Division carried out Personality Assessments, Criminal Profiling. Using Polygraph, NARCO, Brain mapping
#3 Want to Study Forensic Science in India
i) Entry Requirements & Qualifications
One of the pathways to a Forensic Science Degree is to obtain an undergraduate degree in B.Sc ( Botany or Zoology or Chemistry or Maths or Physics or any of the applied sciences) and then pursue a M.Sc in Forensic Science.
Or else you can take up Forensic Science just after your class 12th( if you have taken science)
(ii) Degree in Forensic Science
A Bachelors’ Degree in Forensic Science is usually 3 years long whereas Masters is 2 years in India.
Upon completion of your degree, you will be equipped with an in-depth understanding in scientific theory and its applications to crime scenes and explore the various methods used in crime laboratories.
#4 What Will You Study in Forensic Science?
Forensic Science Degrees are designed to provide you with a wide range of knowledge and skills related to the forensic science sector upon graduating.
Typically, you will be exposed to the basics of science helpful in analysing physical evidence. You will also be given hands-on practical experience.
Some of the subjects taught in a Forensic Science Degree are:
- Forensic Anthropology and Odontology
- Crime Scene Investigation
- Digital Forensics
- Research Methodology
- Forensic Biology and Serology
- Questioned Documents
- Cell Biology and Genetics
- Organic Chemistry
- Ballistics and Explosives
- Forensic Entomology
- Forensic Toxicology
- Forensic Photography
- Forensic Psychology
- Forensic DNA Technology
#5. Why Should You Study Forensic Science?
Here are a few reasons why Forensic Science could be your calling.
(a) You are observant and curious
Asmaan hai neela kyun? Pani geela geela kyun? If you are this person, then this definitely is your subject. If you question everything that you see , if you critically think and examine in your daily life. You have what it takes to be a forensic scientist.
(b) You enjoy science
If you enjoy science subjects and have a good grasp of the basic concepts, then a Forensic Science Degree might be perfect for you as the course will require a strong foundation in these subjects.
(b) You love to work in labs
As Forensic Science involves analysis of various physical evidences, one need to stay in laboratory for long hours. If you are a lab person , then forensic science should be your subject.
(c) You want to help the society
If you think Police officers are the only ones out there combating crimes, then you are wrong. Forensic scientists play a crucial role too. Without the proper collection and analysis of physical evidence, police officers will not have enough to prove a crime and linking of criminal to that crime.
#4. What Skills Do You Need for a Forensic Science Course?
Here are some of the key skills and qualities you should have / need to develop if you want to excel in Forensic Science programme/ profession.
(a) You can think critically
If you can think critically and logically, if you can analyze information, systematically solve problems, generate innovative solutions, plan strategically and think creatively. You are perfect for forensic field.
(b) You are patient
Since forensic scientists have to deal with lot of challenging situations, being patient will help you in balancing work stress and your personal life.
(c) You have good spoken and written communication skills
To become a forensic scientist, you will need good spoken and written communication skills. Ypu should be able to testify and present your evidences confidently and effectively in the court.
(c) You are a team person
It takes a team of experts from different fields to solve crimes, so it’s important that you can work well with a diverse group of people.
#5. What Are Your Career Options After Forensic Science Degree?
Forensic Science graduates can seek employment opportunities in both the public and private sector.
Government Opportunities – You can work in CFSLs, FSLs , RFSLs, Mobile labs of various states and cities. You can also work in CSIR labs as a research assistant/ fellow. In NIA, NCB, IB, vacancies are released every year, where in you may find an edge because of your forensic background.
You can find opportunities in labs where chemical and biological works are taken upon like NDTL, NIOH, WII, etc. In hospitals, as technicians if you are well versed with instrumentation.
You can also try in various private and public sector banks as document examiner, risk assessment examiner.
Private Opportunities – Various forensic private labs have come up in India that take up freshers and experiences forensic professionals for various posts. MNCs like Deloitte, Ernst &Yound, PwC, KPMG, Accenture, hire forensic professionals as executive, forensic auditors and risk managers .
#6. Where Can You Study Forensic Science in India?
Here are some universities that offer B.Sc Degree in Forensic Science in India.
- Dr. Harisingh Gour University, Sagar, M.P
- Bundelkhand University, Jhansi
- Institute of Forensic Science, Mumbai
- SHUATS, Allahabad
- Galgotias University, Greater Noida, U.P
- Amity University, Noida, Manesar
- GD Goenka University, Sohna, Haryana
- Teerthanker Mahaveer University , Moradabad, U.P
- Mody University ,Laxmangarh, Rajasthan
- Sharda University, Greater Noida
- Garden City University, Bangalore
- Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar, Punjab
Want to explore more about Best forensic colleges in India, Read this post !