Text – Pankhuri Kumar
“May 100 criminals be spared but 1 innocent should not be punished at any cost”
It is singularly the most important piece of inspiration and advice for all forensic experts. They are capable of and also hold the responsibility of taking life-changing decisions and the smallest errors can ruin lives.
Like any other career path, becoming a Forensic Expert is equally challenging and requires a good deal of hard work. The need for such experts is ever increasing because the crime rates are also going up, all over the world. Alertness on the job is imperative and one must have a natural flair for data interpretation and analysis. The job also comes with great responsibility as the expert has a big contribution in concluding who is guilty of a crime or not. There aren’t too many forensic experts around and therefore such expertise is in demand.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF A FORENSIC EXPERT IN INDIA
The primarily responsibility of a forensic expert starts at the crime scene where physical evidence needs to be collected and ensure that no clue goes unnoticed. The second part comes with the careful analysis of the data to form conclusions. This could include testing fingerprints, weapons, bloodstains, saliva, hair, etc., as all of these are important indicators to determine the perpetrator of the crimes. Additionally, these checks could also include drug evidences.
The reports generated by the forensic experts are then submitted to the lawyers, jury and judge in both civil and criminal courts as testimony. Depending on the choice that the expert makes, the duties could be in either private or government institutions. These experts not only make court appearances but also work with the police authorities to build up evidence.
HOW CAN YOU BECOME A FORENSIC EXPERT IN INDIA?
To become a forensic expert in India, the candidate would need to complete the 12th standard examinations with the science stream. In graduation, the candidate can choose between Physics, Chemistry, Zoology, Applied sciences, microbiology or any other degree in Science. The candidate must be a permanent resident of India.
It is advisable to maintain a high academic record to ensure admission to a prestigious institution for the post-graduation in forensic sciences. To get admission in such institutions, it would be required of the candidate to take the NET Forensic Science entrance exam conducted by the UGC and the JEE Forensics Science entrance exam by the IITs. Apart from these, there are other colleges as well take conduct entrance exams for acquiring diplomas in forensic sciences.
Education in this career path continues beyond the average – the candidate then needs to get a MBBS degree to ensure that they are eligible to do post-mortems and other examinations on dead bodies. Even after the MBBS, the candidate needs to get a MD in Forensic Sciences to stand qualified for the role.
Once the educational degrees are complete, candidates need to start practicing. They can either start a lab on their own, join private detective agencies or join law enforcement agencies including the legal, police or intelligence bureaus. It has to be noted that the CBI recruits only the most qualified individuals.
Colleges that offer Bachelor’s, Master’s and MBBS degrees in Forensic Sciences include Gujarat Forensics Science University, Deen Dayal Upadhaya college and Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa college in Delhi, St. Xavier’s college in Mumbai, University of Madras in Chennai, etc.
SALARY AND CAREER PROSPECTS OF A FORENSIC EXPERT IN INDIA
The career prospects of a forensic expert are promising and have a wide area of work to choose from. The various career paths includes forensic pathologist, crime lab analyst, engineer, architect, veterinary surgeon, psychiatrist, finger printing analyst, etc. For more challenging roles, candidates can apply to work related to anti-terrorist operations and protection against violation of human rights. Additionally, a career in teaching students of forensic science is also available.
According to PayScale, a forensic expert earns an average salary of INR 979,592 per year and can even cross 5 million annually. There is a varied range because the pay depends on the sensitivity of the information of the case one is working for and some cases can be very confidential.
We are all aware that the crime rate as gone up drastically in the past few years and this has increased the demand for forensic experts. They are the backbone of any criminal case and there are ample opportunities all over the world and in India. If you feel that apart from clearing the academic hurdles, you have the technical and analytical skills to work as a forensic expert, then the world is all yours.
You need to be a keen observer and know your work inside out. You need to be accurate and your results need to be free of bias. Mostly, the working hours are fixed but you maybe called at odd hours at times of emergencies. This job also offers you job security with other benefits like paid vacations and pension after retirement.
It is quite thrilling to pursue the career of a forensic expert and is full of risks and responsibilities. Throughout your career, you will continue to inspire others and have a contribution in the society in your own unique way. Once you take the decision, put in all the hard work and success will follow.
About the Author
Pankhuri Kumar is a student of Economics (Honours) at Hindu College, University of Delhi. She is a big believer in the power of positivity and plans to do her MBA in the future. In her free time, Pankhuri can be found checking out new places to eat and shop at.