Topic Discussion: Should Forensics Be Part of the MBBS Curriculum?
Discussion with stakeholders

Forensic evidence plays a very important role in criminal justice. Therefore, NHRC, India would like to hold discussions with various stakeholders to make recommendations for the government (s) to strengthen the forensic science buildup in the country. In order to add value to this discipline of medicine, one of the proposals that recently came up was to include the study of forensics, including its medico-legal aspects, in the MBBS course so that it becomes duly prominent. As mentioned above, the Commission will continue to follow the discussions on various aspects of forensic setup in the country and, based on the input, will make its final recommendations, taking into account all related issues.

– Jaideep Govind, General Secretary and CEO, NHRC

Also emphasize forensic medicine

There are two branches of forensics – Forensic Medicine & Toxicology and Forensic Sciences. On the other hand, while medicine requires the application of medical knowledge to the administration of justice, science is concerned with the application of scientific techniques in the investigation of criminal offenses. Forensic medicine has long been part of the MBBS curriculum but has yet to be properly recognized and covered only briefly. Interested students can, however, choose to specialize at PG level. Adding Forensic Science to the curriculum will put a further strain on MBBS students who are already studying around 19 subjects in a not-so-long 5.5 year duration.

– Dr. Sneha S. (MBBS, MD), Forensic Medicine Specialist, Sri Ramachandra Medical College, Chennai

Won’t do the job

Forensic experts work in laboratories. Clearly, students pursuing MBBS want to be practicing physicians. If they add it to the curriculum, it will fail to achieve the stated goal of having more forensic experts, which India currently lacks. Forensic medicine, which is an important aspect of crime scene investigation, needs more emphasis. There are too few places for MBBS who want to specialize in this area. For example, in UP there are only four PG seats for forensic medicine.

– Dr. Rahul Dev Sachan, Associate Professor at Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Memorial Medical College (GSVM) in Kanpur

Students must be made aware of this

Forensics is a broad field and goes beyond the field of toxicology. It also includes cyber crime studies, linguistics, psychology, etc. The subject requires independent study. To address the shortage of forensic experts, students need to be made aware of the subject area and career opportunities. Various courses and specializations are offered in this area.

– Samadhan Kale, forensic scientist, Mumbai


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