- The National Forensic Sciences University Bill, 2020 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Amit Shah on March 23, 2020. The Bill seeks to establish the National Forensic Sciences University. Key features of the Bill include:
- Establishment of the University: The Bill establishes the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University, Gandhinagar (established under the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University Act, 2008) and the Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences, New Delhi, as a University called the National Forensic Sciences University at Gujarat. The Bill declares the University to be an institution of national importance. The Bill also repeals the 2008 Act. The campuses of the University will include the campuses of the two universities.
- Objectives and functions of the University: The objectives of the University include: (i) promoting academic learning in the field of forensic science in conjunction with applied behavioural science studies, law and other allied areas to strengthen the criminal justice institutions in India, (ii) fostering research and applied applications in forensic science, applied behavioural science studies, and law, (iii) coordinating with the central and state governments to improve investigations, crime detection and prevention through research, and (iv) assisting the central government in creating and maintaining a national forensic database for criminal investigation, including DNA and fingerprints.
- Functions of the University include: (i) providing training and research on forensic science, applied behavioural science, law, and criminology, (ii) establishing and maintaining colleges, schools, and research laboratories, and (iii) prescribing courses, holding exams, and granting degrees and other distinctions.
- Authorities: The Bill provides for several authorities under the University. These include: (i) the Chancellor of the University, who will head the University, (ii) the Court, which will review the broad policies and programmes of the University, (iii) the Board of Governors, which will be the principal executive body, and (iv) the Academic Council, which will specify the academic policies of the University.
- Board of Governors: The Board of Governors will be responsible for all administrative affairs of the University. The members include: (i) the Vice-Chancellor (appointed by the central government), (ii) the Financial Adviser, Ministry of Home Affairs, ex officio and (iii) five persons of eminence from fields such as forensic science and criminology. Nominated members will hold office for three years.
- Key functions of the Board include: (i) making policy decisions related to the working of the University, (ii) instituting courses of study in the University, and (iii) making, modifying or cancelling statutes which will specify the establishment, composition, and powers of various authorities of the University. The first statutes of the University will require the approval of the central government.
- Fund: The University will maintain a Fund which will be applied towards its expenses. The following amounts will be credited to the Fund: (i) contributions by the central or state government, (ii) grants, gifts, and donations, (iii) income from fees, and (iv) amounts received from any other source. These amounts will be invested based on the recommendations of the Finance Committee.
- Appeals: Any student or candidate whose name has been removed from the rolls of the University and who has been barred from appearing for examinations for more than one year may appeal to the Board of Governors for review of the decision. Any dispute arising out the disciplinary action taken by the University against a student may be referred to a Tribunal of Arbitration (at the request of the student). Disputes arising out of the contract between an employee and the University may also be referred to a Tribunal of Arbitration.
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