by Rajendra Ramachandra Mavle, Physics and Documents Department, Assistant Chemical Analyser, Home Department, Government of Maharashtra
How would you define forensic science as a profession?
Forensic science deals with the application of scientific principles towards the investigation of crime. By using different methods and techniques, a forensic science officer converts clues collected from the crime scene into evidence in a court of law. A person working in this field is termed as a forensic scientist. The person is authorised to give a report of evidence to the court.
What are the different departments/ areas under forensic science?
There are different divisions under physics forensics and chemistry forensics. The chemistry department deals with toxicology, DNA, neurological and biological analysis and so on. The physics department deals with different digital forensic analyses. Forensic psychology is also an added area which is being explored by many. It deals with psychological evaluation and narco-analysis.
How do you start a career in this field?
The forensic science department is looked after by the government and each state has its own forensic head office. One has to crack the Maharashtra Public Service Commission exams and have a bachelors or masters degree in science to apply for this job.
Where could one work in this field?
One could work with the police, para-medical laboratories, banks, law firms including those that specialise in cyber law, corporate offices and security agencies. One could also take up teaching and research and development.
What are the pre-requisites in this profession?
Apart from having the necessary qualifications one should be curious, have the sense and frame of mind to analyse each case and be able to study minute details with utmost sincerity.
Does forensic science have any kind of scope in India?
Maharashtra in itself has six forensic science laboratories. Unlike abroad, where the scope is vast because there are privately-owned agencies which provide opportunities to qualified individuals, in India, the scope is limited. However a distinct rise will be seen in a few years from now.
What are the recent trends in this field?
There have been a lot of changes off late. Some of them deal with cyber crime, speech analysis and forensic psychology. The University of Mumbai has planned to start a course in forensic science too.
What subjects do you need to be good at in school?
Chemistry, physics, biological sciences and information technology.
What is the pay scale?
In government jobs, one could start with a salary of Rs 9,000 and move on with experience.
PLACES WHICH COULD BE OF HELP
- St Xaviers College, Mumbai offers a Diploma in Forensic Science Department of Zoology and Forensic Science, St Xavierʼs College, 5 Mahapalika Marg, Mumbai - 400001. Tel: 022-2262066. Website: xaviers.edu
- University of Delhi offers a Post Graduate Diploma in Forensic Science Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi - 110007. Tel: 011-27667329. Website: du.ac.in
- University of Pune offers a Diploma in Criminology Faculty of Law, Ganeshkhind Road, Pune, Maharashtra. Tel: 020-25601261/25601264. Website: unipune.ernet.in
- Gujarat University offers an MSc in Forensic Science University School of Sciences, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad – 380009 Tel: 079-26300969. Website: gujaratuniversity.org.in
(As spoken to Shreyashi DasGupta)