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Education Plus

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Q & A

Options in forensic science

— File Photo.

Looking for clues: Forensic experts examining a scene of crime for evidence.

I am a B.Sc. zoology student and would like to know more about forensic science as a higher study option. Kindly give me the details of the institutions that offer the forensic science course at the Master's degree level. What are the job prospects?

EBENEZER, THRISSUR

Meritorious graduates in physics, chemistry, zoology, botany, biochemistry, microbiology, or applied science are eligible to choose forensic science for their Master's degree course. The aspirants should have an aptitude for scientific analysis, inquisitive nature and accuracy, observation skills, intelligence and team spirit.

Forensic science is a branch of science which deals with the application of scientific principles in the investigation of crime.

It is an applied science and postgraduates and doctorate degree holders in this discipline can work as forensic scientists. Forensic scientists analyse physical evidence on the crime scene and provide expert testimony in a court of law.

The discipline includes many branches like forensic biology, forensic chemistry, forensic physics, forensic fingerprinting, documents, and forensic medicine or pathology.

Study facilities

Postgraduate degree courses in forensic science are offered by a few universities in India. It is one of the suitable higher study options of science graduates. An M.Sc. degree course in forensic science covers subjects such as criminal law and police administration, criminalistics, advanced instrumental techniques, analytical chemistry, clinical toxicology, microbiology, immunology and biochemistry.

The Forensic Sciences Department, Mylapore, Chennai, under the Government of Tamil Nadu, offers a two-year fulltime postgraduate programme in forensic science.

The course is affiliated to the University of Madras. Students with a B.Sc. degree in physics, chemistry, zoology, botany, biochemistry, microbiology or applied sciences are eligible for admission. Ten students are admitted to this course. This course has been temporarily suspended for the past few years. The University of Madras, Dr. MGR University and Anna University have recognised the department as a research centre for conducting Ph.D. programmes in forensic sciences.

The University of Madras, Chepauk, Chennai, offers postgraduate degree course in cyber forensics and information security. Web site: www.unom.ac.in.

The following universities and institutes also offer Master's degree programme in this discipline and related courses.

Department of Forensic Science, Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar University, Agra, Uttar Pradesh

Osamia University, Hyderabad-500007

Institute of Forensic Science and Criminology, Bundelkhand University, Jhansi -284128. Web site: www.bundelkhand

university.org.

Karnataka University, Pavatenagar, Dharwad -580 003.

Loknayak Jaya Prakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science, New Delhi

Department of Criminology and Forensic Science, Dr. Harisingh Gour Viswavidhyalayam, Sagar, Madhya Pradesh – 470003.

The list is only indicative and more information regarding universities that offer M.Sc. degree in forensic science and related courses can be collected from the university handbook published by the Association of Indian Universities which will be available for reference in the university employment information and guidance bureaux functioning under all universities in Kerala.

Research

Research can be pursued with junior research fellowship in forensic science at the Bureau of Police Science and Research and Development under the Union government. The fellowships are awarded in forensic chemical sciences, forensic physical sciences, forensic biological sciences and so on. Research facilities are available at the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratories at Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Kolkata. Research in forensic chemical sciences can be done at the Neutron Activation Analysis Unit of the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai.

First class M.Sc. degree holders in subjects such as forensic science, physics, chemistry, microbiology and biotechnology are eligible for admission to research programmes leading to Ph.D. The upper age-limit is 30 years.

Other options

There are several other higher study options for meritorious graduates in zoology at the postgraduate level such as biotechnology, bioinformatics, microbiology, environmental science, wildlife science, forestry, sericulture technology, forestry management, industrial fisheries and animal biotechnology.

Professional courses like MBBS, B.Pharm., B.V.Sc. and AH, B.Ed., L.L.B. or MBA are some other higher study options. You can choose anyone of these according to your aptitude and interest.

To become a zoologist or scientist you can choose zoology for M.Sc. degree course and Ph.D. programmes.

Integrated Ph.D.

The Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, provides higher study facilities for integrated Ph.D. degree in biological sciences. First class B.Sc. degree holders in biological sciences including zoology are eligible for admission.

The selection is based on an all India level entrance test and interview. More details can be obtained from the web site www.iisc.ernet.in.

The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, offers integrated Ph.D. in biology and M.Sc. degree course in biology, wildlife biology, and conservation. Web site: www.tifr.res.in.

MBA or postgraduate programme in management conducted by leading institutes such as Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) is also a good option for graduate in any discipline with high marks and aptitude. Admission to IIMs is based on Common Admission Test (CAT), group discussion and personal interview. Journalism or mass communication is also a good option for higher study for meritorious graduates if interested.

GOPAKUMAR KARAKONAM

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