What is Forensic Science?
The word forensic is derived from the Latin word forensic which means of or before the forum. Any science used for the purposes of the law is a forensic science.Forensic science is a scientific method of collecting and analysing information about the past which is used in a court of law. Forensic sciences are used around the world to resolve civil disputes, to enforce criminal laws, regulations and to protect public health.
Who is a Forensic Scientist?
Forensic scientists are who help solve crimes by gathering and examining physical evidence and other facts found at the crime scene. The evidence may include fingerprints, blood samples, hair, bullets, etc. A forensic scientist also specialises in collection and cataloging of evidence, or laboratory analysis which involves scientific methods to classify evidence.
What does a Forensic Scientist do?
As the work of a forensic scientist is used in court, a forensic scientist must be accurate, methodical and unbiased. Detailed notes, accurate reports are a vital part of being a forensic scientist. The roles of a Forensic scientist are as follows: A forensic scientist -
- must be able to determine facts or items as relevant evidence.
- must examine and analyse such evidences
- may need to go to the scene of crime to conduct on-site analysis to gather evidence or documents for analysis.
- has to decide which tests have are appropriate for the relevant issue.
- must conduct appropriate analysis and document the process and results.
- must interpret the results and write a correct report documenting the procedure of the test, the results and the reason for this conclusion.
- at some a forensic scientist will have to testify as a statement of a witness.
- he/she must have a solid background which is documented about which the forensic scientist has to testify.
How to become a Forensic Scientist?
A bachelor's degree is a must to become a forensic scientist with subjects including physics, chemistry, biology, microbiology, medical technology or genetics. A bachelor's degree will give you a entry-level job in forensic science. Along with this, experience in a laboratory may be required by some crime labs. Some disciplines in forensic sciences may require advanced degrees in applicable fields of science or medicine.
The following are some of the special skills for a forensic scientist:
- good speaking skills - as a forensic scientist will have to testify in a court of law
- good writing skills - as they will be required to write reports of the tests and results.
- having personal integrity and being unbiased
- must have excellent hand-eye coordination details as they will have to handle minute pieces of evidence.
Career opportunities for a Forensic Scientist
Most the job opportunities for forensic scientist are in government sector. They can find employment in particular sectors like law enforcement agencies like police, legal system, and investigative services of the central and state governments. Private agencies also hire people with qualification in the field. A major lot of forensic scientists are hired by the Intelligence Bureau, the CBI etc. Another important option for forensic scientists is teaching in forensic science institutes.
How much does a Forensic Scientist earn?
As most jobs are in government sector, salaries are based in the structure and pay scale and the salaries are quite high. Those with PG in forensic science get very high salaries. Experienced candidates can expect high salaries in private laboratories.
Top Institutes in India for Forensic Science
- Institute of Criminology & Forensic Science, New Delhi
- University of Lucknow
- Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science, Delhi
- Dr.Harisingh Gour Vishwa Vidyalaya, Sagar, Madhya Pradesh
- University of Delhi
- Anna University, Chennai
- Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Hyderabad