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Career in Forensic science : Courses, Colleges, Eligibility,Specializations

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What is Forensic science?

Forensic Science is the application of scientific knowledge and methodology to criminal and civil laws. Forensic science is a multidisciplinary course. It implicates various areas of science such as chemistry, psychology, engineering, social science, geology, biology, etc. It is the primary study of science and criminal justice.

Forensic science is composed of two Latin words: forensic and science. Forensic refers to a discussion or examinations performed in crime scenes while science is derived from the Latin word for 'knowledge'.

If you want to work in this field, you should have a determined and focused mind. Keen observations and analysis skills are the major aspects of forensic scientists.

Who is the first forensic scientist in the world?

Archimedes is the first forensic scientist in the world.

What is the role of forensic scientists?

They help to gather, maintain and analyze physical data during the course of an investigation. They are also called criminalists and crime scene investigators. Some forensic scientists travel to the crime scenes to gather the data or evidence while some of them acquire the laboratory roles. They also use computers to investigate DNA and other proves gathered at crime scenes.

They testify as expert witnesses in both criminal and civil cases. They can work for either the prosecution or the defense.

Developments in Forensic science:

In the past few years, detailing forensics scenes has become more worthwhile. Forensic scientists have started using various techniques such as laser scanners, drones, Hair Analysis, Forensic Facial Reconstruction, Fingerprint Analysis, Luminol Spray, photogrammetry to collect 3D pictures of accidents or crime scenes. Drones play a very vital role in reconstructing the crime scenes that involve a time of only 10-20 minutes without disturbing the traffic.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has proposed the organization guidelines upon which the science should build. NIST suggests that forensic science rebuilds its system. 21st-century forensics will be different from what it was before if regional laboratories abide by the guidelines proposed by the NIST. The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently has made one addition that is called NISTIR-7941, titled   "Forensic Science Laboratories: Handbook for Facility Planning, Design, Construction, and Relocation"

Top Five Latest Technologies In Forensic Science:

  1. LA-ICP-MS: LA-ICP-MS stands for Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. This technique is used when broken glass is involved in a crime. Even the tiny pieces of glass can be a major key to finding important evidence such as the type of weapon used in a crime, the direction of the bullet, the force of impact, etc. The LA-ICP-MS machine can break the glass samples of almost size below their atomic structure. This technique helps forensic scientists to match even the smallest fragment of glass found on a cloth from a crime scene. A Bachelor's Degree in Forensic Science is necessary to work with this type of equipment.
  2. Alternative Light Photography: This tool is used to see the damage to the body of the patient even before it is visible on the skin. Omnichrome is a kind of camera that uses blue light and orange filters to show bruising below the skin's surface. You would need an MSN in Forensic Nursing to work with this equipment.
  3. Video Spectral Comparator 2000: This tool is used to see hidden writing on a piece of paper. This equipment is helpful even if the paper is damaged by water or fire so badly that it looks unintelligible to the naked eye. To work with this equipment, you need a Bachelor's Degree in Forensic Science or a Master's Degree in Document Analysis is required.
  4. DNA Sequencer: It is used to identify criminals and victims using trace clues like hairs, blood, or skin samples. DNA sequencer allows forensic scientists to analyze old bones or teeth to determine the particular ordering of the victim's DNA nucleobase and generates a unique DNA pattern that can help identify that person or victim as a possible criminal.
  5. Forensic Carbon-14 Dating: It is used to identify the age of unknown trace for anthropological and archaeology findings. People with a Master's Degree in Forensic Anthropology or Forensic Archaeology can work with this equipment.

Forensic Science Courses And Duration:

  • Undergraduate Course (3 years) - B.Sc in forensic science
     
  • Postgraduate course (2 years) - M.Sc, PG Diploma, Ph.D., M.Phil in Forensic Science

Forensic Science Specializations:

Forensic Science specializations include:

  • Forensic Biology
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Forensic Botany
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Forensic Entomology
  • Forensic Serology
  • Forensic Ballistics

Eligibility and Admissions:

Following is t

  • Candidates should complete their 10+2 examinations from the science branch for admission into Undergraduate Degree.
  • After completing a Bachelor's Degree, candidates can apply for a Master's Degree in Forensic Science.
  • There are also entrance tests for admissions in some universities.

Forensic Science Universities in India:

  • Punjab University (PU)
  • Bhim Rao Ambedkar University
  • Manipal University
  • Delhi University (DU)
  • Lucknow University
  • Gujrat Forensic Science University

Scope of Forensic Science:

The scope of Forensic Science is very vast. There are extensive and endless opportunities in this field due to the increase in crime rate and criminals. There are lots of job opportunities in various private and government sectors. You can even open your own forensic service office. The need for Forensic Scientists is huge all around the world.

Forensic Science Job Profiles:

Following are the job profiles offered to forensic scientists:

  • Legal counselors
  • Forensic Expert
  • Crime Reporter
  • Forensic Engineer
  • Law Consultant
  • Handwriting Expert
  • Professor
  • Investigative officers
  • Crime Scene Investigator

Forensic Science Top Recruiters:

  • Intelligence Bureau (IB)
  • Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI)
  • Central Govt. Forensic Sciences Labs
  • Private Detective Agencies
  • Law Firms
  • Police Department
  • Banks
  • Universities
  • Army
  • Quality Control Bureau

Salary of Forensic Scientists:

In govt. the sector, salary is based on the structure and pay scale. In the private sector, a handsome salary is offered to the experienced candidates by the agencies. After completion of qualification in Forensic Science, candidates can earn Rs. 3 Lac to Rs. 4 lac per year and with experience, professionals can earn Rs. 6 lac to Rs. 8 lacs per annum. And if you are working abroad, you can earn $55,040 per year.

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