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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Cybercrime to forensic audit, unique crime-related courses launched in 2018

Why are Indian universities teaching students about crime? Substance abuse, Insolvency, banking fraud, ethical hacking, terrorism negotiation were introduced across Indian universities this year.

Written by Shyna Kalra | New Delhi | Updated: December 31, 2018 7:33:02 pm
Chinks in cyber armour Indian universities are increasingly teaching about unique crime-related courses. (Representational Image)

From cybercrime to criminal justice and technology, forensic audit to de-addiction – in the passing year 2018, many courses related to crime were launched by Indian institutions. While earlier such programmes were meant for those working with defence or police, in recent years there is a surge in demand and universities are coming with unique programmes to detect cyber frauds.

These courses are open for everyone showcasing how important it is for students to learn to safeguard and defend themselves and others.

The Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) launched a certificate course in forensic accounting and fraud detection. Within few months of its launch, the course has already registered over 6,000 people. This course was aimed for only ICAI registered CAS but due to high demand, employees of IOCL and HPCL got registration. The ICAI has launched Data Analytics/ Forensic Analytics Labs at Noida, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Chennai, Kolkata and Chandigarh already.

ICAI president, Naveen ND Gupta, said, “The course is created by experts from the field of accountancy and law keeping in mind the emerging economic scenarios. Specialisation in this area is much sought-after considering increasing incidents of cybercrime and fraud detection. It is the practice of utilising accounting, auditing, CAATs/ Data Mining Tools and investigative skills to detect frauds.”

There was a rise in cyber crimes this year. A total of  30 people were arrested in cyber crimes out of which 12 were juvenile, according to the National Crime Bureau (NCB) report. The data collected is till August 2018. According to NCB crime in India 2016 report, there has been a rise of 3 per cent in crimes committed 2014-15 and a 2.6 per cent rise in crimes committed in 2015-16, showing a continuous uprise.

A total of 31,396 cases were registered against juveniles in 2015, almost double the number in 2001.

Keeping this scenario in mind, Punjabi University at Patiala started a course on substance abuse in October this year. So far, 35 candidates have registered. The university also conducts a course in HIV awareness which had witnessed the maximum strength up to 26 students. Those who enrol in substance abuse courses will be sent to do field work in which they will be asked to spread the message of prevention against drug abuse.

On completion of the course, one can work at a rehab centre or as a psychotherapist in government, private and not for profit organisations.

Naina Sharma, assistant professor, Punjabi University said, “The course was introduced keeping in mind the spreading epidemic of substance abuse. To our surprise, a large number of school teachers enrolled for the course showing how deeply rooted the issue is and the need for early intervention.”

Managing director of a corporate security and risk consulting firm – Netrika, Sanjay Kaushik, highlighted while there is an increase in number of courses related to physical, digital and social security in India, most of them are introduced as short-term and additional level, however, a formal and in-depth training is required in the fields. “India still lacks formal training in security-related courses. Even today, people do not consider it to be a full-term primary career choice.”

Netrika launched several programmes including certified anti-terrorism specialists, crime prevention specialist. PEACE interview and investigation technique, corporate security management specialist among others. There has been a rise in enrolment up to 17 per cent for these courses. While Netrika has global association including the forensic investigation services, Unites States of America, Gujarat Forensic Sciences University is the only Indian university to tie-up with the India-based firm.

“While the crime keeps increasing at a high rate, the pace of defence is not as high. Every organisation including corporate houses host such mandatory coaching, the approach remains theoretical. It is important to teach students in an artificial atmosphere how to handle an adverse situation,” he adds.

Among most unique crime courses was ‘Insolvency Associates’ launched and designed by Ministry of Skill Development, the course is not yet open to learners. The ministry is in talks with the University of Delhi (DU) to initiate the course. The aim of the course is to impart knowledge about insolvency law and catch financial frauds. DU this year had also launched a centre for cyber crimes. The centre provides a postgraduate diploma in cybersecurity and law.

Cybersecurity remained particularly favourite this year. The University of Hyderabad had announced to launch courses in the field including cyber law, human rights, forensic science, criminal justice and technology. Ethical hacking also emerged as one of the emerging courses this year.

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