I am doing my 12th Standard of the State board. Since childhood, I had a great passion for Astronomy and Forensic Science. I always had great interest in space. I came to know that Astronomy deals with Physics and Mathematics. But I am a Biology student. I need to know more about opportunities related to Astronomy and Forensic Science so that I can choose whichever is available.

— Shruti Jessica

In the previous issue, we have provided details on education and career opportunities in Astronomy.

In this column we are providing details on education and career opportunities in Forensic Science. Forensic Science (often shortened to forensics) is the application of a broad spectrum of sciences to answer questions of interest to the legal system. This may be in relation to crime or civil action.

One can start one's career in Forensic Science by pursuing B.Sc. Forensic Science. On completion of II PUC/12th Standard or equivalent, one can get into a graduation degree in Forensic Science which is a three year course or diploma courses in Forensic Science & Criminology which are of one year duration. To pursue Masters in Forensic Science, one needs to have graduation degree in subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Zoology, Botany, Biochemistry and Microbiology. To become specialists who conduct post-mortem on dead bodies to find out the cause of death, one must first secure MBBS and then go for MD in Forensic Science.

Graduation courses

Government Institute of Forensic Science, Aurangabad offers B.Sc Forensic Science which is a three year course. Candidates who complete II PUC/12th Standard or equivalent from a recognised board can apply for this course. This institute also offers PG Diploma in Forensic Science & Related Law and the duration is one year. For further details, please visit http://gifsa.0fees.net/

Post-Graduate courses

Some of the major universities offering Master's courses in Forensic Science are listed below:

Osmania University,Hyderabad offers M.Sc. Forensic Science and the duration of the course is two years. Candidates who have completed B.Sc (Medical/Non-Medical)/B.D.S./M.B.B.S can pursue this course. For further details, please visit http://www.osmania.ac.in/

Gujarat Forensic Sciences University offers M.Sc. Forensic Science which is a two-year course. The eligibility criteria are: Should have Bachelor's degree in Science/Medicine/Pharmacy with minimum 55 per cent (50 per cent SC/ST) marks at Bachelors level. For further details, please visit http://www.gfsu.edu.in/

Institute of Forensic Science and Criminology, Bundelkhand University offers M.Sc. Forensic Science & Criminology and the duration of the course is two years. This institute also offers PG Diploma in Forensic Science which is a one year course. For further details, please visit http://www.bundelkhanduniversity.org/

Job opportunities

Forensic scientists may work in the areas of forgery detections and other white-collar crimes. Criminal investigation and law enforcement departments of the State and Central governments are providing job opportunities for those who haves completed Master's level course in Forensic Science. State government jobs would require proficiency in reading and writing in the regional language as well.

I am studying B. Tech Civil Engineering through distance education mode. As per my present job, I want to join in AMIE Electrical. Is it good to pursue both the distance education courses simultaneously? I want to know whether both the certificates will be valid or not. Can you mention any provision or Act of UGC/DEC according to which studying two distance courses in parallel is allowed and provides validation of courses and certificates?

— P. Jagadeesh

University Grants Commission (UGC) is a grant-giving (funding) agency for institutions of higher education. Additionally, it coordinates, determines and maintains standards in institutions of higher education.

Similarly, Distance Education Council (DEC) was set-up for the promotion of Open University and distance education systems. DEC also assesses the competence of university/institute in respect of conducting distance education programmes.

Therefore, universities and institutions offering distance education courses are required to frame their own ordinances/regulations/rules with respect to eligibility and other criteria based on the broad guidelines specified by UGC and DEC.

Hence, it is important that one should check with the university or institute regarding studying two distance education courses simultaneously.

Another important point to consider while deciding to take up two distance education courses simultaneously, is the possibility of clash in the time table for examination and contact classes (if any). In case any examination of both the courses falls on the same day, then you will be able to take only one exam.

There are some universities, like the Institute of Distance Education, University of Madras, which has introduced a dual degree system. In this system, graduates and postgraduates could pursue another degree at the same time through distance education. For more information please visit the Institute of Distance Education, University of Madras website at https://www.ideunom.ac.in/director.asp

Similarly, University of Mumbai is planning to allow students to take up two full-time courses simultaneously from the 2012 academic year. A student can take up one full-time course and sign up for the other through distance education. However, there are some conditions which need to be fulfilled by the student like, seeking a no-objection certificate from the principal of the first college and submitting the same for confirmation of admission in the second college.

With regard to the Associate Member of the Institution of Engineers (AMIE), it is a professional certification given by Institution of Engineers (India) (IEI). In order to be eligible for the AMIE certification, one needs to be a member of IEI and also meet certain eligibility criteria. For more information, please visit The Institution of Engineers (India) website at https://www.ieindia.info. You may also get in touch with them to know their rules regarding doing two distance education courses simultaneously.

T. Muralidharan, TMI e2E Academy

(Queries for this column can be sent to the collegian@thehindu.co.in)