Botanical Survey of India

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The Botanical Survey of India (BSI) is an institution set up by the Government of India in 1890 to survey the plant resources of the Indian empire. Objectives of botanical survey of India:- (i) To survey the plant resources of the country. (ii) To undertake and complete taxonomic studies of all the flora of the country. (iii) To enlist the endangered species, to undertake measures for the effective conservation and to collect and maintain germplasm and gene bank of endangerd, patent and vulnerable species.


The British East India Company had already established botanical gardens at Sibpur, Poona, Saharanpur and Madras as centres for improving botanical knowledge and experimentation under the local Governments. For example, the Saharanpoor botanical garden, which dates from before 1750, was acquired by the East India Company in 1817 for growing medicinal plants.[1] Most of the EIC botanical gardens' work was for the cultivation of plants of interest in commerce and trade. It is under Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The Botanical Survey was formally instituted on 13 February 1890[2] under the direction of Sir George King, who had been superintendent of Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta since 1871. King became the first ex-officio Director of BSI. The Calcutta Garden became the headquarters of the Survey and was given regional responsibility for Bengal, Assam, North East, Burma, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Present Spread: The Botanical survey of India is now spread across the country with regional centres located at Dehradun, Jodhpur, Pune, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Port Blair, Shillong, Itanagar, Gangtok and Allahabad with new Botanic Garden of Indian Republic (BGIR) being developed at Noida. There are five units located in Kolkata/Howrah. The present Director of Botanical Survey of India is Dr Paramjit Singh who is reviving the linkages with universities and trying to build capacity in Plant Taxonomy in the Universities by making available the Taxonomic Literature and collections for researchers online. Botanical Survey of India also offers Fellowship for doing research in Plant Taxonomy and also offers post doctorate fellowships to those who are trained in Taxonomy and want to continue their research related to the mandate of BSI.[3]

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