Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation, Shri Amit Shah laid the foundation stone of Karnataka campus of National Forensic Science University at Dharwad, today. Several dignitaries including Chief Minister of Karnataka Shri Basavaraj Bommai and Union Minister Shri Pralhad Joshi were present on the occasion.
In his address, Shri Amit Shah said that every district of Karnataka is a cultural heritage not only for this state but for the whole of India. He said that even before 1857, Karnataka had contributed to the freedom struggle and many personalities from here have inspired freedom fighters from all over India. Shri Shah said that the literal meaning of Dharwad is – the resting place in a long journey and today with the Bhoomipujan of the campus of National Forensic Science University, it will go two steps further and add more glory to the contribution of Karnataka in the field of education in the country.
The Union Home Minister said that the credit for starting the Forensic Science Department in our country goes to former Union Home Minister Shri Lal Krishna Advani. In 2002, Shri Advani established the Directorate of Forensic Science Services and focused on this subject. Shri Shah said that at the same time, Shri Narendra Modi became the Chief Minister of Gujarat and took the initiative to establish the best forensic science lab in the world. He said that when this idea was taken forward, there was a huge shortage of experts in this subject. He said if forensic science experts are not available, then the contribution of forensic science to the criminal justice system cannot be realized. At that time, Shri Modi decided to set up Gujarat Forensic Science University in Gujarat, to facilitate education in the field of forensic science for children directly after Class -12th.
Shri Amit Shah said that after Shri Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, the idea of making this university at the national level came to the front. He said that Bhumipujan of the ninth campus of National Forensic Science University has been done today. He said that subjects related to forensic science, such as cyber security, digital forensics, artificial intelligence, DNA forensics, food processing, environmental forensics, agricultural forensics, etc. would be taught in this campus to make experts in these fields. Every campus of Forensic Science will impart students with the knowledge of all the disciplines of Forensic Science and after five years India will have the maximum number of Forensic Science experts in the world. He said that the Forensic Science University is one of its kind in the whole world and it will definitely benefit from what we have started.
The Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation said that the world of crime is changing very fast. Counterfeit currency trading, Hawala transactions, border infiltration, narcotics, cybercrime and crime against women. Criminals are moving ahead of the police and until the police do not remain two steps ahead of the criminals, prevention of crime is not possible. He said that if the police have to stay two steps ahead, conviction rate has to be increased and with the use of scientific techniques, NFSU can help in this field. Shri Shah said that unless the investigation is scientifically based on forensic science, the culprit cannot be punished in the court. For this, it is very important that the officers of Forensic Science should be first to reach the crime scene in all the crimes with punishment of 6 years or more. He said that Karnataka is the second state after Delhi which has made the visit of forensic science experts mandatory in urban areas in all crimes which have more than 6 years punishment. Shri Shah said that when India is progressing in every field, our challenges have also increased and we have to understand that according to these challenges, we also have to prepare our experts.
Shri Amit Shah said that there are three parts to law and order – practical law and order which is the domain of police, crime investigation in which forensic science has a big role to play and thirdly, strengthening the criminal justice system. He said that the government is soon going to amend the Evidence Act as well. By amending the IPC, CrPC and Evidence Act, they will be further strengthened for the mechanism of punishment on a scientific basis, so that all the observations of forensic science can be used to punish the criminal. Shri Shah said this is not the era of third degree, we can investigate only on the basis of scientific research and technology. He said that Canada’s conviction rate is 62%, Israel’s 93%, England’s 80% and America’s 90%, while we stand at 50%. He said that if the law and order situation in India has to be improved, then we have to increase our conviction rate and our criminal justice system has to be integrated with the investigation done by forensic science and for some heinous crimes forensic investigation has to be made mandatory. Shri Shah said that if we have to make forensic science investigation mandatory in every police station across the country, then we need 8000 to 10,000 forensic science experts in 9 years. Before the establishment of the National Forensic Science University, the Gujarat Forensic Science University had a capacity of 500 and this goal could not be achieved. He said that after opening the campuses of National Forensic Science University gradually in all the states of the country, we will definitely get 10000 experts who will serve the country in strengthening the criminal justice system for many years.
The Union Home Minister said that the Government of India has taken many initiatives in the field of forensic science. State-of-the-art DNA analysis lab has been set up in Chandigarh, along with this, Pune CFSL has been modernized at a cost of Rs.62 crore, Guwahati CFSL at Rs.50 crore, Bhopal CFSL at a cost of Rs.53 crore and Kolkata CFSL is currently being upgraded at a cost of Rs.88 crore. He said that NFSU has opened campuses across the country in Delhi, Bhopal, Goa, Tripura, Pune, Manipur and Guwahati and today a campus has also started in Dharwad which will provide job opportunities to the youth of Karnataka and will also help in protecting public from crime by maintaining law and order in Karnataka. He said that NFSU has signed more than 158 MoUs with more than 70 countries and various organizations so that NFSU can serve in crime detection all over the world. Forensic Science University not only works to educate the children and create a trained man power but also helps in strengthening the forensic infrastructure. NFSU not only creates trained manpower, but also increases the use of technology in investigation and trying to take India to the front in the world in the field of forensic science through research and development. He said that NAFIS App has been launched recently which has data of about 1.5 crore fingerprints. He informed that within three months of its launch, 10,000 cases including a 22 years old case, were resolved immediately. He said that this would be further strengthened, for this a scientific arrangement has been made in the National Crime Records Bureau to store the fingerprints of all the prisoners. Shri Shah expressed confidence that on the lines of Karnataka, importance will be given to forensic science services across the country. He said that the Chief Minister of Karnataka has appointed 206 Scene of Crime Officers (SOCO) and such initiatives will go a long way in maintaining law and order in Karnataka in the upcoming days. He said that NFSU is also setting up a Center of Excellence for Wildlife Forensics in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Shri Shah said that the aim of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is that India should be foremost in the world in this field as well. He said that this university being started in Dharwad will not only provide job opportunities to the youth of Dharwad but also of entire North Karnataka, it will also help in handling law and order of entire Karnataka.