The Gujarat Forensic Sciences University, popularly known as GFSU, as claimed, is the world’s first and only university dedicated to Forensic Sciences and allied subjects. Nestled in the lush green environs of an equally serene capital city of Gandhinagar, the university quietly continues to gallop in academic excellence. Envisioned by the P.M. and the then C.M. of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, to be an institution of higher learning of international standard for producing experts in different fields of Forensic Science, this unique university has not looked back since its inception on 10th February, 2009. Well before ‘Skill India’ became a buzz word, its founder Director General and the country’s senior-most Forensic Scientist, Dr. J.M. Vyas had started employing all his experience of five long decades to launch post graduate courses in all possible branches of Forensic Science. Today, in just about a decade, GFSU boasts 50 specialised P.G. programmes, ranging from legacy branches like Fingerprint Science, Document Examination, Food Analysis and Ballistics, to the more advanced forensic fields like DNA analysis, Toxicology, Odontology and Forensic Psychology, further on to the latest streams such as different areas of Cyber Forensics, Forensic Nanotechnology, Forensic Structural Engineering and Environmental Science, to name a few.
Reminiscing about initial days, Dr. Vyas said that as there was no forensic science university in the world, we had no template to fall back upon and had to innovate and plan each and every training methodology and facility in-house. Despite this, Dr. Vyas simultaneously embarked on three major verticals – Institute of Forensic Science, Institute of Research & Development, and Institute of Behavioural Science to cover all the branches as also to provide a special impetus to the R&D. Besides this, to keep pace with the advancements in academics and technology, Dr. Vyas planned academic collaboration across the world in a big way which stands today with more than hundred multi-disciplined institutions. He also began offering expert consultancy in setting up or upgrading various laboratories in the country as well as abroad. Once the University settled down, Dr. Vyas came out with a new concept of Preventive Forensics! He explained that while Forensic Science is used the world over for investigating a crime, it should also be utilized in preventing a crime. This gave rise to courses in Homeland Security, Cyber Security, Hospital management and Forensic Accounting. These Management courses, coupled with enormous training programmes being run by GFSU for participants from different departments of the Government as well as number of foreign countries, led Dr. Vyas to plan the next vertical, Institute of Management & Training. Dr. S.O. Junare, Director of this institute informed that GFSU conducts a number of special training programmes, including for 68 friendly foreign countries. As a result, Dr. Junare proudly stated that in just ten years, GFSU has trained about 10,000 officers including 2200 foreign officers from varied departments such as Police, Armed Forces, Bureaucrats from Central Ministries, Judiciary, Banking, Vigilance, Customs, Immigration etc.
One of the unique and successful courses at GFSU is its 2-year full time MBA Programme in Homeland Security. It is a very comprehensive course where the students are trained in every facet of internal security to function at higher appointments at global, national as well as organisational level. Veteran Air Commodore K.R. Thaakar, now a Senior Faculty Member for Homeland Security, informed that the course has recently been upgraded to equip the participants with requisite skills to respond to major security threats and disasters by way of preparing strategy, refining plans, implementing in a fool-proof way, exploiting technology, carrying out investigations, undertaking audits etc. In particular, the course is designed to gain expertise in the fields of International Security Perspective, Internal Security Threats, Border Security Threats, CBRN Warfare, Cyber Security, Disaster Preparedness & Response, Financial Frauds, Intelligence Sharing, Threat Assessment, Vulnerability Analysis, Critical Infrastructure Protection, Civil & Criminal Laws and Application of Forensic Science, to name a few. This, coupled with the extensive coverage of Management Fundamentals & Techniques, Financial Accounting and Psychology, prepare the students with necessary managerial skills to lead their security departments. Air Commodore Thaakar said that besides equipping with wide ranging knowledge, the students are also provided with practical exposure through a week-long visit to Adani Port & SEZ at Mundra (Gujarat) and a recently introduced 2-week training at the prestigious North-Eastern Police Academy (NEPA) at Shillong. The entire 4th semester is dedicated to internship at one of the major institutions/ industry for hands-on experience in various facets of security, and preparing a dissertation which provides valuable and analytical insight to the students. In the past, besides young students, the course has also been attended by number of armed forces officers and police officers from India as well as abroad, and they found it very useful. Dr. S.O. Junare, who is the senior-most Director, unhesitatingly claimed that no one passes out disappointedly from GFSU as it has achieved enviable standard of academic excellence, established impressive infrastructure and has expert faculty.
Dr. J.M. Vyas, despite serving for 47 years as a Forensic Scientist, heading Gujarat’s Forensic Science Directorate for past 27 years and presiding as the Director General, akin to the Vice Chancellor, of GFSU for 11 years, is not contented as yet. Continuing its long strides, GFSU has launched nine new P.G. programmes in the upcoming academic session of 2020-21. This includes courses in novel fields like Multimedia Forensics, Malware Analysis & Reverse Engineering, Forensics and Anti-Corruption, and Cyber-Psychology. As the new courses start, the entire process of inviting expert faculty to join the family, creating infrastructure, entering into academic collaboration, starting research activity and most importantly, ensuring that the highest academic standard is maintained, is all put into motion, each and every time. Dr. Vyas, with his outstanding vision, dynamism and expertise, continues to raise the bar at the GFSU.