After completing a BSc degree in zoology from Bihar, Laxmi Kumari thought of doing something unconventional and decided to go in for forensic science at Shri Guru Teg Bahadur Khalsa College. “I liked the fact that the course was a mix of different streams of science, with detailed content. It focuses on specialised areas of forensics such as analysing fingerprints, cyber crime trends, handwriting analysis etc. We even got a chance to work with the crime branch of the Delhi Police on different cases which was a unique learning experience,” says Kumari.
USP: The department trains students in all branches of forensic science. Advanced topics such as lie detection, narco analysis, DNA typing and cyber crime are part of the curriculum. Forensic medicine, which is generally taught in medical colleges, is also included in the syllabus. Students also get an opportunity to pursue a master’s degree and can later find placements as scientists in state and central forensic science laboratories, fingerprint bureaus and intelligence agencies.
The college’s advanced bridge certificate programme prepares students for an MA in criminal justice at the University of the Frazer Valley, Canada. “In our country, only 3% of the cases are solved through the forensic method. Forensic science is a multidisciplinary field, which involves working in different areas such as chemistry, botany, physics and computer science, among others. The need for experts in this field will only increase,” says GS Sodhi, associate professor and coordinator, forensic science unit, SGTB Khalsa College, Delhi University.
Programmes and curriculum: The department offers a post-graduate diploma in forensic science, awarded by the University of Delhi. Apart from theory and practical classes, the curriculum has a research component too. “Students are expected to innovate and find novel techniques. Our students have propounded a method for detecting fingerprints on crime scene evidence accidentally or deliberately put under water. We have also found a method of developing fingerprints on duct tape —useful if it has been used by suicide bombers to tie explosives on their bodies. Students are encouraged to participate in national and international conferences on forensic science to keep abreast with the latest in this field,” says Sodhi.
Activities: A forensic science orientation programme for the Military Police Unit of the Indian Army was held last year. A workshop on fingerprint technology was
organised in April 2012 for fingerprint experts of the Delhi Police.
Faculty: There are three core faculty members and three guest lecturers in the department.
IT-quotient: Students are allowed access to the computer science department of the college. ICT-based learning is encouraged. Assignments can be downloaded from the website and the answers can be electronically communicated.
Infrastructure: “Our infrastructure has been duly inspected and approved by the Bureau of Police Research and Development, ministry of home affairs. We have classrooms, with LCD projectors and well-equipped laboratories. Our library has a good number of books on forensic science and related disciplines,” says Sodhi.
Achievements: More than 70 research papers in forensic science have been published in international journals from the college. Five Indian patents have also been filed in the field of forensic science.
The Forensic Science Unit was established in 2009 and the infrastructure was duly inspected and approved by the Bureau of Police Research and Development, ministry of home affairs