Please tell us about yourself
Dr Malvika Mehta is presently the Director of National Centre for Handwriting Studies (NCHS), Pune. At 14. she enrolled for a Graphology course by Milind Rajore. She says, “I completed my diploma and then enrolled for a professional degree course in Graphology at Handwriting Analysts International, Hyderabad. While I was 18 yrs old, I started taking up professional workshops in Graphology & Handwriting Analysis from Basic to Diploma in Wanworie. I also pursued my BAMS degree.
I am a Questioned Document Examiner, my journey began in 2013 as a Handwriting analyst and later as a Forensic Document examiner. I have pursued Bachelor’s in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS).
Now I am pursuing Masters in Forensic Investigation at Cranfield University, United Kingdom as a British Council Scholar with a scholarship of 20,000 GBP.
How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and cool career?
A budding forensic engineer, a trained professional in graphology- handwriting analysis is what Dr Malvika Mehta is known for in her friend circle. “A doctor by profession, I found my passion in the field of forensic science.
Malvika is more than happy to be balancing her passion and profession. She added, “I am always focused and dedicated to completing my work-related chores and somehow, my love for music as well. The latter always finds a small space in between all the chaos to help me relax and helps me calm myself down, which in turn helps me in completing my work in a better manner. It is like an energy booster for me. In spite of my hectic schedule, music plays a major role in my life.”
Tell us about your work
My work involves the investigation of various kinds of cases. I usually have to testify as an expert,” said Malvika, who works with SIFS India, a private forensic lab in Pune as their branch head and handles questioned document examination, fingerprint examination and cyber forensics. She also provides training for the same.
How is your experience studying Forensic Investigating at Cranfield?
“We wore suits, gloves and masks and we worked the scene of a robbery,” says student Malvika Mehta, who is currently studying on Cranfield’s Forensic Investigation MSc. “It was part of our module on crime scene investigation and the scene had been set up for us. It wasn’t real obviously, but it was very realistic.”
As well as collecting and deciphering the evidence, forensics is also about securing the scene and keeping it free of contamination. Students are asked to generate a crime scene report, analyse and evaluate the evidence they collect, and work with police investigators.
Forensics isn’t all decomposing bodies. There are a raft of modules and professional specialisms that are more accessible for the slightly more squeamish…
Ballistics and weapons, digital forensics, and spotting fakes and forgeries (which is Malvika’s current module of choice) are all among the options at Cranfield. “I’m really enjoying fakes and forgeries,” says Malvika. “This is really important work for auction houses and museums. We learn to look at everything about a piece from the frame to the paper and ink. It’s about protecting cultural heritage.”
Malvika spent her undergraduate degree at India’s Bharati Vidyapeeth University studying Ayurvedic medicine and surgery, and the move from the science of humans to the science of things has followed a natural curve. The fakes and forgeries module teaches an introduction to the art world, scientific and historical analysis and the various attributes of materials such as stone, ceramics, colour pigments and glass.