A Brief Profile of the Department of Botany

 

Since the day of inception of the college, the stream of biological Sciences was introduced for the intermediate course in August, 1950. As the college was subsequently upgraded to Degree College, Biological Sciences was bifurcated into Botany and Zoology and these were taught under the common umbrella as a general course in B. Sc level in 1982. Thus the Department of Botany came into its existence first by starting Honours course in 2001. The Department gradually earned its recognition and reputation in the academic map of West Bengal in course of time for both teaching and research activities in different branches of Botany.

 

 The department which now runs in two shifts - Morning (Women Section) and Day Section (co- educational) is now offering 3 year B. Sc. (Honours and General) course as well. The teaching curricula of Botany, both at Honours and General course level, are updated as per University of Calcutta guidelines covering the latest developments in Plant Science and subsequently it was shifted to West Bengal State University in 2008.

 

 The Department has produced many students who have proved their academic excellences in different disciplines are well placed nationally and internationally. Some of them already pursued their studies in USA, UK and other countries also. Students are almost regularly qualifying in SSC, JEE, LIC and different competitive examinations including IT Sector also.

 

Facilities:

 

The Department has introduced a seminar library with appreciable number of text and reference books along with many complimentary copies. This library is also enriched with some scientific journals. Students as well as Teachers who are associated with the department are deriving their benefits from utilising this seminar library.

 

Research Activities:

 

The Department has vibrant research activities. The individual laboratories are well equipped with the availability of instrumental facilities for practical classes and research work as well. Teachers of the Botany Department are actively engaged in their research work. Research activities have been supported by different funding agencies like UGC, Dept. of Science and Technology (DST), Government of West Bengal etc. About 50 research papers have already been published in National and International journals. Researches in the field of tissue cultures and Plant Biotechnology are being carried out for the rapid clonal propagation and in vitro conservation of different medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) like Ocimum, Cymbopogon etc. More than 9 protocols have been developed for their mass micropropagation for commercial exploitation. Attempts are also being made for screening an isolation of somaclonal variation of different MAPs. Bioactive principles and their antimicrobial effect of different MAPs have also been studied with respect to some selected phytopathogens.

 

Following resource survey and assessment, an extensive Medico-ethno botanical studies were undertaken recently on different tribal pockets in the district of North 24 – Parganas to collect / document unknown and / or uncommon uses of plant resources by the tribesand rural people. Traditional data were collected, in order to make documentation of the MAPs, through Kavirajas, Ojhas and Local Specialists of different ethnic groups of tribal areas.

 

Research Project:

 

Two minor research projects (From UGC) and one major research project (From DST, Govt. of West Bengal) were recently carried out by the teachers of the Department of Botany.

 

Seminar/ Symposium/ Conference attended:

 

Regular participation in the National and International as well as State and Regional Conferences by the Departmental Teachers is the rule rather than exception. Apart from teaching and conducting educational trips, teachers are actively participating both in National and International Seminars and Workshops  to upgrade and refurbish  their knowledge and skill base.

 

On April 15, 2011, one of the senior most faculty members of the department Dr. H. Saha presented his research paper in the International Conference on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants held in the University of Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy. He also Chaired one technical session of the Conference and paid visit to the advanced research laboratory (Institute of Pharmacognosy and Botany) to share and interact knowledge with Prof. Ch. Franz, Vienna, Austria on 20th April, 2011 which brought laurels for the Department.

 

Conference organised:

 

The Department of Botany played key-role , in association with the other Departments  of Biological Sciences , in organising  a 3-day National level conference  on “ Biodiversity : Threats & Conservation through traditional and biotechnological approaches” sponsored by UGC, CSIR, NABARD and DST, Govt. of West Bengal during 4-6 February,2012. More than 300 participants including distinguished Scientists, Professors, Research Scholars, NGO, Students (both UG & PG) actively and fruitfully attended the conference.

Very recently the Department of Botany also organised a one-day seminar on “Advances in Enzyme Technology and its Prosect” on February 12, 2014. The speaker was Prof. Doukani Koula, Professor of Nature & Life Sciences, Ibn- Khaldoun University,Tiaret, Algeria.