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Crime busters

education Updated: Sep 22, 2011 11:21 IST

The lowdown
Forensic science involves investigating a crime by applying scientific principles. Forensic scientists use the latest technology and collect evidences such as traces of blood, saliva, other body fluids, hair, fingerprints etc. These experts work closely with the police and provide evidence admissible in court.

The expertise of a forensic professional can also be utilised for civil cases related to issues such as proving the validity of a signature on a will, etc

Clock Work
For a crime investigator
6am: Wake up
9am: Check reports that have been sent by the lab
11am: Visit the scene of a crime to collect samples
12pm: Meet people related to the case, from the client to the police
2pm: Lunch
3pm: Get back to work, which might drag on till late

The schedule can be tiring as it might stretch over many days

The payoff
The salary varies for state forensics departments as per government pay scales. Those doing private practice initially start by earning Rs6,000 a month. With experience, professionals earn Rs50,000 to Rs60,000 a month depending on the case

Besides working with law firms or crime bureaus, research and teaching can also be taken up as a profession

Titiksha J Desai, assistant professor, Forensic Science Department, IFS, Mumbai



Skills/TRAITS
.
Have an inquisitive mind and concern for accuracy
. Good observation skills
. Team spirit and ability to come to logical and practical conclusions
. While investigating a case, you should not divulge any information that can hamper probe

Getting there
You need to have a science background. Opt for science subjects, especially with chemistry, in Class 12. After graduation, you can go for one-year diploma courses in forensic science and criminology. You can also pursue a master’s programme in forensic science and later opt for research

Institutes
. Dr B R Ambedkar University, Agra
www.dbrau.ac.in
. Dr Harisingh Gour University, Sagar
www.sagaruniversity.nic.in
. University of Mysore
www.uni-mysore.ac.in
. Amity Institute of Forensic Sciences, Noida,
www.amity.edu
. Bundelkhand University,
www.bujhansi.org

Pros and Cons
. Life is interesting as you unravel mysteries
. A lot of people depend on you to solve a case
. You get to make contacts
. Work can sometimes be tiring but then it depends on your dedication