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National Forensic Science University

  • 29 Aug 2022
  • 7 min read

For Prelims: Forensic Science, National Forensic Science University

For Mains: Forensic Science, National Forensic Science University, Regulations of Forensic Science, Background of Forensic Science in India

Why in the News?

Recently, the Union Home and Cooperation Minister addressed the First convocation of National Forensic Science University (NFSU).

What do we need to know about National Forensic Science University (NFSU)?

  • About:
    • It was established by the Government of India in 2020 with the objective of fulfilling the acute shortage against the increasing demand for forensic experts in the country and around the world.
    • The National Forensic Sciences University, with the status of an Institution of National Importance, is the world’s first and only University dedicated to Forensic, behavioral, cybersecurity, digital forensics, and allied Sciences.
    • Apart from Gujarat, its campuses have been opened in Bhopal, Goa, Tripura, Manipur and Guwahati
  • Vision:
    • To fulfill the acute shortage of Forensic Experts in the Country and the World.
    • To make the World a Better and Safer place to live.
    • To carry out Research in the area of Forensic Science, Crime Investigation, Security, Behavioral Science and Criminology.
  • Mission:
    • Education through Investigation.
    • To impart High-Quality Education of International Standards.
  • New Centres of Excellence:
    • A new campus and three Centres of Excellence have been added in the University:
      • The Centre of Excellence in DNA.
      • The Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security.
      • The Centre of Excellence in Investigative and Forensic Psychology.

What is Forensic Science?

  • About:
    • Forensic science is the use of scientific methods or expertise to investigate crimes or examine evidence that might be presented in a court of law.
    • Forensic science comprises a diverse array of disciplines, from fingerprint and DNA analysis to anthropology and wildlife forensics.
    • Forensic science is a critical element of the criminal justice system.
      • Forensic scientists examine and analyze evidence from crime scenes and elsewhere to develop objective findings that can assist in the investigation and prosecution of perpetrators of crime or absolve an innocent person from suspicion.
  • Forensic Science in India:
    • The first Central Fingerprint Bureau of India was established in Kolkata in India in the year 1897 which became functional in 1904.
    • An advanced Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) has been established in Hyderabad under the Department of Biotechnology.
    • The DNA Profiling in criminal cases such as homicide, suicide, sexual assaults, terrorists’ activities, wildlife forensics, and other crime cases is now continuing in various Police departments, Forensic institutions, Wildlife departments for Human and Animal identification from the biological fluids and the tissue materials.
    • India has over 80 universities and colleges including National Forensic Science University at Gandhinagar, Gujarat, and Rashtriya Raksha University at Lavad, Gandhinagar where the School of Forensic Science & Risk Management is also imparting teaching, research, and training to the students, Police and Paramilitary forces for security purposes.
  • Problems with Forensic Science in India:
    • Erroneous Convictions:
      • The most alarming issues in Forensic Science are the erroneous convictions based on faulty forensic evidence.
      • Nearly 318 convicts were released from jail based upon DNA tests who were earlier wrongly convicted on the basis of faulty forensic evidence.
    • Lack of scientific certainty
    • Lack of research
    • Lack of well-defined code of ethics
    • Lack of certification of the experts
    • Non-available databases and non-availability of error rate statistics for all the techniques
  • Acts:
    • The Himachal Pradesh Police Act, 2007:
      • The act authorizes the Director Forensic Science to suggest the State Police board and the state government for the Forensic facilities to be created in the state for scientific investigation.
      • It also states that the state will provide necessary financial assistance for the same within 6 months, in the event of inability the reasons have to be recorded in writing.
      • The act also made it mandatory for the investigatory agencies to collect forensic evidence in crime cases and to send the same for forensic examination.
      • The Director General of Police in consultation with Director Forensic Science will create facilities for scientific interrogation, investigation, and the necessary equipment.
    • The National Forensic Science University and Rashtriya Raksha University Acts - 2020:
      • In September 2020, Government of India, passed two Acts:
        • The National Forensic Science University (NFSU) Act 2020
          • NFSU was created at Gandhinagar in Gujarat State.
        • Rashtriya Raksha University (RRU) Act 2020
          • RRU has been created and established at Lavad, Dahegam, Gandhinagar, Gujarat State.
          • The mandate of Rashtriya Raksha University is to promote and provide global standards of learning and research in policing, law enforcement, security, cyber security, artificial intelligence, and risk management.

Way Forward

  • There is an urgent need for capacity building of Forensics in India if early effective justice is to be provided to the common man in the country.
  • The quality of forensic reports is completely dependent upon what types of samples are sent by the investigating officers for testing in the laboratories.
    • Thus, forensic training for the investigating officers should be made mandatory.
  • There should be homogenous technology and expertise in different testing Forensic Laboratories in India so that the report quality does not suffer for want of expertise and the latest technology.

Source: PIB

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