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Department of Botany

The students after admission to the Faculty undergo an intensive course in English language and several Foundation courses for 2-3 months and then begin their study programmes. The students entering the Biology stream follow a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Study Programme offered by various Departments in the 1st and 2nd years. At the end of the 2nd year, the students are selected for various Bachelor of Science Honours (B.Sc.Hons) Study Programmes on merit. Those who have not been selected for Bachelor of Science Honours (B.Sc.Hons) Study Programmes continue with the Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Study Programme until the 3rd year. At the end of this period, the students who complete requirements for a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Study Programme are given the option of obtaining a four year Study Programme in Applied Sciences by spending another year at the University.

The Department conducts comprehensive courses in Botany for B.Sc., B.Sc.Hons and Applied Science Study Programme students encompassing every discipline of Plant Sciences stressing both basic and applied aspects. The Department also offers courses of applied and industrial nature for the newly commenced Applied Science Study programme. Together with the Departments of Zoology and Molecular Biology and Biotechnology an integrated programme in biology is provided for the first year Biological Sciences students.

The Department offers courses for the following Study Programmes:

Study ProgrammeDurationProgramme Outline
B.Sc.3 years The students follow B.Sc. during the first two years and continue with them into another year.
B.Sc.Hons in Botany4 years The students having followed the B.Sc. with Botany courses in the first two years are selected on competitive basis to specialize in Botany in the Year 3 and 4.
B.Sc.Hons in Biology4 years The students having followed B.Sc. Biology courses in the first two years are selected on competitive basis to specialize in Biology in the Year 3 and 4.
B.Sc. in Applied Sciences3+1 years The students after completing the requirements for B.Sc. are given the option of an additional year following courses in Applied Sciences and industrial training.

Students in other B.Sc.Hons study programmes such as Chemistry, Molecular Biology & Biotechnology and Zoology have the opportunity of taking courses in Botany & Food Science, which are offered by the Department of Botany.

Year 1:

The students take a minimum of 24 credits from three Principal Subject areas offered in the first year. Biology is offered as principal subject areas, Biology* (8 credits) and Biology** (16 credits) jointly by the Departments of Botany, Molecular Biology & Biotechnology and Zoology. The programme is designed to enhance the students’ Biology knowledge acquired in the school. Both Biological and Physical Science students can offer Biology.

B. Sc. Study Programmes - Year 2 and 3:

Botany: The students start taking Botany as from the Year 2 onwards (Annexure 1). The courses offered provide the students a fundamental knowledge of Plant Sciences to take up more advanced and applied courses in the third year. The courses cover the diversity of plants and their measurement, evolutionary position and taxonomy; angiosperm morphology and anatomy, biochemistry, physiology and biostatistics. In the laboratory sessions, the students using live or preserved specimens, study their characteristics; they also acquire skills in identification in their habitats and estimation of diversity.

In the third year courses are offered in diverse aspects of plant sciences, ranging from Plant Systematics, Plant Ecology, Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, Microbiology, Soil Science, Plant Pathology, Postharvest Technology of Fresh Produce, Economic Botany, Genetics and Reproductive Biology, Molecular Biology to Plant Breeding. Each course has a laboratory component. A course, Independent Study, is offered at the B. Sc. and B. Sc. (Honours) Study Programmes level for the students to acquire skills in gathering information from various sources and presentation.

Food Science: Food Science is offered as a Supplementary Subject at the 200 and 300 Levels. The students are given a basic knowledge in food science, food processing and handling instruments in quality control assessments. 200 and 300 Level Course Details

B.Sc.Hons in Botany and Biology

A B.Sc.Hons in Botany has been offered by the Department from its inception. The B.Sc.Hons in Biology, which commenced recently, is offered jointly by the Department of Botany, Molecular Biology & Biotechnology and Zoology.

The students are selected for the B.Sc.Hons programmes at the end of the second year, based on their performance during the two preceding years and an interview, their interest in the subject and competence in English to follow the programme. Usually the students with a grade point average equivalent to ‘A’ for Biology I, II and 200 Level Botany courses with good performance in other subjects offered are selected to specialize in Botany.

At the B.Sc.Hons level, the Year 2 and 3 courses, are taught in greater depth with additional subject areas such as Rhizobiology, Nitrogen Fixation, Plant Toxicology, Plant Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology, and Forestry. Courses of applied nature, such as Applied Microbiology, Biodiversity Conservation and Management, Molecular Genetics and Plant Breeding, Plant Pathology, Soil Fertility and Management are also included in the 400 level syllabus. Further, the students carry out a research project in their final year and present their findings in a seminar and a dissertation. They also prepare and submit appropriately labeled dried specimens collected during their field visits to be included in a herbarium and extensive field reports as a part of skill development activities. The students admitted to the B.Sc.Hons programme are expected to show a keen interest in the subject, have original ideas and be hard-working.