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NEW DELHI: For this year’s admission season, Delhi University will ask all its colleges to hire forensic experts to spot fake marksheets and certificates in the wake of a series of forged document rackets having been unearthed in recent years.
“The university’s admission committee will ask colleges to engage forensic experts so that attempts made to secure a seat on the basis of fake documents can be identified at the beginning. The university is likely to send out guidelines on this,” a DU official said.
Several colleges have already released tenders to employ forensic professionals for verifying documents.
The experts will use infrared light for invisible writing to show up on documents, use ultraviolet light to see fluorescent marking and fluorescent thread, locate micro-lettering through magnifying hand lens and examine paper quality and thickness through a stereo microscope, among others.
Ramjas College was the first college to engage forensic experts, in 2013, after a fake marksheet scam rocked the college in 2012.
For the 2016-17 admissions, colleges such as Kalindi, Dyal Singh and Sri Venkateswara employed a company that provides forensic expertise.
‘Risk of fake papers low at colleges with experts’
And this year, Shivaji College too has decided to use forensic experts after its previous admission process came under a DU probe.
“Focussing on authenticity and document verification, we decided to seek the assistance of a forensic scientist for our admissions,” said Anulya Maurya, principal, Kalindi College.
Mohammad Iqbal, a forensic scientist who has been working with Kalindi College for two years, said: “Many DU colleges had, in response to an earlier guideline by the university, decided to use forensic experts to verify documents and to remove any chance of forgery in the admission process.”
Iqbal said he and his team members use a number of methods and go about the verification process in two steps.
“First we look at the document’s physical parameters such as micro-lettering, barcodes, fluorescent marks, fluorescent thread, invisible writing and paper quality through a number of techniques including UV and infra-red light, stereo microscope and even hand-held magnifying lens,” Iqbal said.
The expert added that previously used techniques like online tracking and roll number verification are also utilised.
Iqbal said due to application of these techniques, “no one dared to submit fake certificates” in college that employed forensic experts.
He said, last year, a student had submitted colour photocopy of her original certificates “which looked almost real. But we identified the difference and the student was asked to submit the original documents,” he added.
While most colleges use the help of external experts, SGTB Khalsa college has employed its own former students with post-graduate diploma in forensic science.
“Our students go through an extensive program for a year where they cover various aspects of forensic sciences like criminology, crime scene management, cybercrime, DNA typing and forensic documentation.
After this, we invite the students as interns to help us out during the admission process,” said G S Sodhi, associate professor, department of chemistry, SGTB Khalsa college.