Forensic expert as a career

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Nilanjana Dutta talks about Dexter Morgan’s day job and also what helps him stay out jail despite his night errands while explaining what it takes to be a forensic expert

A forensic report solely has the power to determine the murder weapon, impact of the attack, probable proportion of the attacker and sometimes even the exact human being who is the attacker from the DNA found on the body. But when the attacker is caught, it is always the detective who interrogated a witness or the cop who did all the footwork, who are given the credit.
A lot of people believe that a career in forensics is not advisable because it is always the 12th player, but the only place that is true is CID and that too because the CID forensics guy keeps stating the obvious and they should really get a new one*. (*I meant scriptwriter.)
Forensics come out to be the unsung heroes of a successful crime investigation because the crimes that get a lot of media coverage hold a lot more dynamics than a key forensic clue. But there are plenty of cases where the forensic report has defined the outcome of the case. Mr. M. S. Dahiya, Director, Institute of Forensic Science, GFSU, is known to have said how there is hardly anything that can’t be resolved through forensics, starting from a petty theft to paternity disputes in a social sense.

SCOPE
Your professional field is only as good as you are. If you are not good at what you do, even engineering will not promise you a stable career. Forensic Toxicology and Forensic Biology has always had a lot of scope and India is moving forward in this field quite prominently. The Gujarat Forensics Science University was set up exclusively to facilitate the same. Moreover, now with India keeping up with technological changes across the world, forensics is more exciting than ever.

JOB OPPORTUNITIES
Largely depending on one’s area of expertise, just like any other profession, one can work in government and private agencies, hospitals and independent labs. But depending on the passion you hold for it, you can take up more challenging positions in areas such as anti-terrorist operations, mass disaster management, cybercrime investigation and protection against violation of human rights. While it is a common belief that a retired player becomes a coach, an immense amount of knowledge and grip on your area of work is required to teach and a lot of forensic scientists take up teaching at colleges and universities.

AREAS OF WORK
While forensics is primarily observation and analysis of the dead body to further a crime investigation, there are varies sub categories which one can gain expertise in such as:

FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST
Conduct post-mortems to find out the cause, time and manner of death.

CRIME LAB ANALYST
Work in the lab in areas like microanalysis, DNA testing, etc.

FORENSIC ENGINEER
Deal with cases of traffic accidents, fire investigations and wrongful injury cases.

FORENSIC ARCHITECT
Design mortuaries and forensic science institutes.

FORENSIC VETERINARY SURGEON
Conduct autopsies on animals and help investigate mysterious animal deaths.

FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST
Integrate clinical experience, knowledge of medicine, mental health and the neurosciences.

FORENSIC SEROLOGIST
Examine physical evidence submitted in criminal cases such as homicides, sexual assaults, burglaries, robberies.

FORENSIC TOXICOLOGIST
Examine chemical influence on the body in cases of poisoning, torture, homicide, sexual assaults, etc.

COLLEGES IN INDIA OFFERING COURSES IN FORENSICS

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GUJARAT FORENSICS SCIENCES UNIVERSITY
Super-specialised post graduate degree courses

DEEN DAYAL UPADHAYA COLLEGE, DELHI NCR
Add-on course for Fingerprint and Document Organisation

AMITY INSTITUTE OF BEHAVIOURAL HEALTH & ALLIED SCIENCE
Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Forensic Science

SRI GURU TEGH BAHADUR KHALSA COLLEGE
Post Graduate Diploma in Forensic Science

DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY, PANJAB UNIVERSITY
Diploma (Forensic Science & Criminology), 9 – 12 Months

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DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINOLOGY & FORENSIC SCIENCE, DR. HARISINGH GOUR UNIVERSITY
Diploma in Criminology & Forensic Science for Police Personnel, 9 – 12 Months

DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF MADRAS
Master of Science (Cyber Forensics and Information Security), 1 – 2 Years

AMITY INSTITUTE OF BEHAVIORAL & ALLIED SCIENCES, JAIPUR
Doctor of Philosophy (Forensic Science), 1 – 2 Years

GAUHATI MEDICAL COLLEGE
Diploma in Forensic Medicine, 1 – 2 Years

ST. XAVIER’S COLLEGE, MUMBAI
Diploma in Forensic Science, 9 – 12 Months

DEPARTMENT OF FORENSIC SCIENCE, SCHOOL OF SCIENCE, GUJARAT UNIVERSITY
Master of Science (Forensic Science), 1 – 2 Years

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COLLEGES ABROAD OFFERING COURSES IN
FORENSICS

PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY IN UNIVERSITY PARK
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) in Forensic Science with a focus on biology or chemistry and Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) in Forensic Science

BOSTON UNIVERSITY
M.S in Biochemical Forensic Sciences offered at the School of Medicine Graduate Medical Sciences

BOURNEMOUTH UNIVERSITY
BSc (Hons) Forensic Science

UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER
BSc Chemistry with Forensic Science and MSc Forensic Science and Criminal Justice

UNIVERSITY OF BRADFORD
BSc (Hons) Forensics and Medical Sciences

 

Volume 5 Issue 9

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