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The Indian Association of Forensic Odontology

[A Member Society of the International Organisation for Forensic Odonto-Stomatology (IOFOS)]


IAFO Secretariat 

Department of Forensic Odontology, SDM College of Dental Sciences & Hospital, Sattur, Dharwad - 580009, Karnataka

Phone: 0836-2468142 (Extn. 115)


IAFO President's Message

Greetings to all.

I am honoured to be the President of the Indian Association of Forensic Odontology (IAFO) for the period 2019-21. The man behind the conception of the association and the pioneer in the promotion of forensic odontology in India was Professor Dr. J.G. Kannappan, my guru and mentor. As founder secretary I had the opportunity of seeing the growth of the association since its inception. From a handful of members it has grown to a strength of over four hundred and seventy five members. This was solely because of the hard work in sustaining the growth by the founding members.  Unfailingly an annual conference was organised since the founding of the association. It is heartening to note that every conference was well attended by delegates from various parts of this vast nation.  Some of the conferences have had over eight hundred delegates.  For a non-speciality subject, which had not even found a place in the curriculum of the bachelors degree in India, these numbers have been very reassuring. 

Soon after the association started growing we had the official journal of the association commenced. Thanks to Dr. Sivapathasundharam that the journal was listed in PubMed right from its second issue.

Our founder-member Dr. Ashith B. Acharya is one of the earliest Indians to be formally trained and qualified in Forensic Odontology from an internationally reputed institution in Adelaide, Australia. His starting of the first department of forensic odontology in a teaching institution in India -- SDM College of Dental Sciences, Dharwad -- was the harbinger for other institutions to follow.  

The association also has personalities like Dr T. Samraj who is a well known academician, clinician and a very able administrator.  He, during his term  at the helm of affairs of IAFO as its President, has instituted a number of activities.  He was instrumental in the starting of a one year training program in forensic odontology for qualified and interested dental surgeon through an academic and training forum, the Indian Board of Forensic Odontology (IBFO) under the IAFO.  The dental surgeons who underwent the training were awarded a Fellowship to recognise and equip them the necessary knowledge and skill and give them the confidence to perform the duties of a forensic odontologist. The association is thankful to Dr. Ashith Acharya -- the first chief faculty for the programme -- for imparting the training to two batches of our members at Dharwad. 

The association also has a young and dynamic forensic odontologist, Dr. Hemalata Pandey who is a masters degree holder in forensic odontology from the reputed University of Glamorgan (currently South Wales). She is working as a forensic odontologist in KEM Hospital, Mumbai, having assisted in solving several cases.  Dr Hemalata Panday is currently the Chief Faculty of the IBFO.  My appreciations to her for the excellent performance and smooth conduct of the IBFO training program during the year 2018-19.  I encourage her to continue her good work for the association and its members.  Her untiring attempts to take the science to the people who matter for the progress of the science is commendable. I witness her celebrity status in the state of Maharashtra which is expanding to the whole of the nation. The name and fame do not happen with ease and I appeal to all our IAFO members and anybody interested to do forensic odontology work to interact with Dr. Ashith Acharya and Dr. Hemalata Pandey to know what it takes to reach a status they have reached currently. 

Dr. T. Samraj had also initiated a National Registry of Forensic Odontologists of India (NRFO). I hope it will gain momentum to reach the goal perceived. I would like to acknowledge the efforts of other senior, committed and dedicated members like Dr. K. Nagesh, Dr. Raji Viola Solomon, Dr. Jayasankar Pillai, Dr. Sudheendra Prabhu, among others, in continuing to move our association forward.  And I request all members to continue to do the good work they are doing now and with more fervour.

Over the next two years, I hope to continue the progress in all the initiatives of the IAFO.  

The priorities that I have conceptualised for the upcoming year include:

  1. Getting our IBFO training affiliated with a university.
  2. Get the fellows of the IBFO recognised for forensic odontology work in private institutions and hospitals.
  3. Create centres of excellence in forensic odontology work in institutions and hospitals with the help of IAFO members.

It is also observed and is promising to note that a lot of original work in the science is encouraged by the members of IAFO who are associated with educational institutions.  It is also observed that in accordance with the objective of disseminating the knowledge and sensitising the capabilities of the science to people who matter, the annual conference has been organised in different locations in India.  And during the conference, the police and judiciary are involved and these are the most important people who need to be conveyed to for the best implementation of forensic odontology for the benefit of the society. 

Finally, please feel free to share any ideas or initiatives that you may have towards helping the association fulfil its objectives, enhance its objectives, obligations to the members and service to the society. With all your support I am sure we will have a very fruitful years ahead. 

Yours fraternally,

Dr S. Balagopal, MDS., MSc.

President, IAFO

30 September 2019

IAFO Report 2018-19

(For the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019)

The Indian Association of Forensic Odontology was formed in 2000 and was registered under the Indian Register of Societies in 2002. Over the past 19 years the Association has grown steadily in terms of outreach and membership. Having added 37 new members in 2018-19 the membership stands at 458. Enquiries regarding membership to the IAFO continued, as did enquiries concerning pursuing study in forensic odontology. All interested were given relevant information, encouragement and guidance so that the subject of forensic dentistry gained, and participation in it was maximised.

With a view towards imparting quality training in forensic odontology to dentists of the country, the IAFO has reinitiated its one-year Fellowship programme in October 2018. Sixteen dentists have enrolled in the programme, which has qualified and experienced IAFO members serving as resource faculty.

Apart from this, members of the IAFO have also been lecturing and serving as resource faculty in other workshops and training programmes across India, further disseminating practical know-how amongst dentists and forensic professionals in India, while also contributing to forensic dental casework across the country.

Since 2002, the IAFO has been organising National Conferences and in 2018 the 16th National and 1st International Conference was held on 29-30 September at Goa. The conference received International Organisation for Forensic Odonto-stomatology (IOFOS) patronage and was attended by 373 delegates from across the country and abroad. One of the highlights of the scientific event was the J.G. Kannappan Oration delivered by Prof. Vilma Pinchi of Italy, the Immediate Past President of the IOFOS and currently Editor of the Journal of Forensic Odonto-stomatology (the IOFOS’ official publication). In addition, she organised a preconference workshop on age estimation. Two other workshops on forensic odontology were also organised by renowned faculty on the sidelines of the conference.

In September 2018, the IAFO President and Secretary were invited to the 1st Forensic Consultative Forum (FCF) organised by the International Centre of Humanitarian Forensics (ICHF), an initiative of the Regional Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for India, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives. The FCF was aimed at identifying and evaluating the challenges and opportunities for dignified management of the dead including forensic human identification in India and to fashion out applicable instruments, processes and procedures towards addressing such needs. Another noteworthy mention is that the Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences, the official publication of the IAFO, has turned decade-old, with its 10th volume available at

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Ashith B. Acharya, B.D.S., G.D.F.O.

Honorary Secretary, IAFO

Date: 14 July 2019