Plant Biology & Biotechnology
This Department had a humble beginning, from the very inception of the College in 1946, as part of the Natural Science Department. It offered an Intermediate course initially. In the year 1951-52 a two-year B.Sc. Botany course was introduced. The staff strength was one Professor, one Lecturer and one Demonstrator. During 1957-58, a 3-year B.Sc. Degree course in Botany with Zoology as ancillary subject was offered. In 1969-70, the Department was shifted to the new and the present Life Sciences Block which was built with a partial grant from the U.G.C.
In 1971-72 the Natural Science Department was bifurcated to full fledged Botany and Zoology Departments. The staff strength of Botany Department increased from 3 to 5. As a result of the enthusiasm shown by the teachers, M.Sc. Botany course was introduced in 1976-77. The Postgraduate Department was headed by Dr.S.Venugopalan, a specialist in cytogenetics with the able assistance of 5 staff members.
The staff members of this Department function as board members in Examination and Syllabus committees of the Madras and other Universities as well as in some autonomous colleges, as Editorial board member for research journals, as advisor for Central Government’s Initiative to study microbial diversity of the country, as experts for screening research proposals, as examiners and doctoral committee members for Ph.D. students of various autonomous colleges and Universities, as well as in the University of Muenster, Germany and the University of New Brinswick, Canada.
Over the years, the students of the Department have performed exceptionally well in their exams and research. The Department has a Botany Association for the students, which exposes the students to modern concepts by inviting speakers and also conducts inter – class competitions in plant science.
In the year 2000, the staff of this Department designed a new syllabus called Plant Biology and Plant Biotechnology with emphasis on modern development in plant science. The University of Madras adopted this syllabus for the undergraduate students. This had a good response from the students.
From the year 2002, B.Sc (Botany) has been changed to B.Sc (Plant Biology & Plant Biotechnology) and a new application oriented paper called Algal Biotechnology has been introduced for the Post Graduate students.
These rapid developments in the Department have increased the confidence of the students as they feel proud to be a part of this Department that has International and National recognition.
The Department offers B.Sc(Plant Biology & Plant Biotechnology),M.Sc (Plant Biology & Plant Biotechnology) courses and research programmes leading to M.Phil. and Ph.D in Biology.
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