ABOUT BOTANICAL SURVEY OF INDIA
The Botanical Survey of India (BSI) is the apex organization under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India mandated for survey, documentation and ex-situ conservation of wild plant diversity of the country. BSI was established on 13 February, 1890 with the basic objective to explore the plant resources of the country and to identify the plant species of economic virtues. After independence, BSI was reorganised on 29 March, 1954 with Calcutta as the Headquarters. The mandate of the Survey then were to undertake intensive floristic surveys and collect accurate and detailed information on the occurrence, distribution, ecology and economic utility of plants in the country; to collect, identify and distribute the materials which may be of use to the educational and research institutions and to act as custodian of authentic collections in well planned herbaria and to document the plant resources in the form of Local, District, State and National Floras. The Director, Botanical Survey of India advises the Govt. of India on all matters related to wild plant diversity of the country, and acts as the Scientific Authority on plants under Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Over the period of time, the functional base of BSI was further expanded to include various new areas such as inventorying of endemic, rare and threatened taxa; evolving conservation strategies; studies on fragile ecosystems and protected areas which include Sanctuaries, National Parks and Biosphere Reserves; monitoring of changes in floristic components; multiplication and maintenance of plant germplasm, endemic and threatened taxa and wild ornamentals in Botanical Gardens and Orchidaria; ethnobotanical and geobotanical studies and development of National Database on Herbaria (including type specimens) as well as live collections, plant genetic resources and plant distribution. The objectives of BSI are presently categorized into Primary and Secondary as under:
The BSI at present has 11 regional centres, viz. Northern Regional Centre, Dehradun; Eastern Regional Centre, Shillong; Southern Regional Centre, Coimbatore; Western Regional Centre, Pune; Central Regional Centre, Allahabad; Arid Zone Regional Centre, Jodhpur; Andaman and Nicobar Regional Centre, Port Blair; Arunachal Pradesh Regional Centre, Itanagar; Botanic Garden of Indian Republic (BGIR), Noida and Deccan Regional Centre, Hyderabad, located in different biogeographical regions of the country, and five units, like Headquarters (with sections: Pharmacognosy, Cryptogamy, Ecology, Microbiology, Plant Chemistry and Publication), Central National Herbarium, Central Botanical Laboratory, AcharyaJagdish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden and Industrial Section Indian Museum located at Kolkata/Howrah. While, AJC Bose IBG at Howrah and BGIR at Noida are exclusively meant for ex situ conservation of threatened, endemic and economic (TEE) plants of the country, public awareness and education, other regional centres also have associated botanic gardens for introduction, multiplication and ex-situ conservation of TEE plant species of the respective regions.
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