Algology (Phycology) Taxonomy (Floristics) DBT Species Recovery DBT Star College ...................................
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The department of Botany was established in the year 1937 when the Madras Christian College left its urban location in George Town, Madras, and moved to the sylvan surroundings in the selaiyur reserve forest, Tambaram.

The B.Sc degree course in Botany was started with just a couple of rooms in the south-east corner of the main building and about a dozen students.

Professor M.S.Sabesan was the first head of the department with one lecturer and a tutor.

The museum and library were shared between the Botany and Zoology departments.

After about 12 years during the 1950’s the student strength increased to 25 and a majority of them were from Srilanka and Malaysia.

The shifting of the department in the year 1983 from the main building to a spacious 2 floor department building designed and constructed with the monetary assistance from central agency, West Germany marked the beginning of an era of research in several disciplines of plant sciences.

The beginning of 21st century has been a period of introspection, challenge and exiting possibilities.

The policy of economic liberalization, the crisis and constraints in funding of higher education, mushrooming of self-financing institutions, and public perception have tended to undermine the importance of plant sciences in the country.

The convention on biodiversity has sharply brought to focus the importance of the study of plants in our country of great biodiversity wealth and pressing environmental problems.

In plant biology special focus is being given to such disciplines as biodiversity-angiosperm and algal taxonomy, seed biology, pollen biology, ecology and environment, forest biology, cell biology, pollination and dispersal  biology, and those related to plant biotechnology such as plant tissue culture, algal and microbial biotechnology, molecular biology and genetics, plant physiology and biochemistry as well as bioinformatics.

The department had an internet facility through LAN(local area network) and all research labs plus the I M.Sc and the II M.Sc labs have been provided with an extended internet connection which serves the purpose of web browsing in labs in the computer laboratory.

Bio-informatics infra structure facility (BIF) at the college has established an extension culture in the department computer lab.

The library has been renovated after the stock taking and getting computerized.

The past record shows steady growth and progress in teaching, research and co-curricular activities.  

The Botany society and the PG Botany club contribute immensely to the academic as well as extracurricular activities of the department.

III B.Sc students have participated actively in the various inter-collegiate competitions organized by other colleges and won deserving prizes trophies and over all shields for their performance in events such as paper presentation, quiz, bio-cartooning, cross word, floral arrangement, ad-zap etc. 

BOTANY DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

One of the oldest department of Botany in Tamil Nadu state(73 years)

Offers best training in plant sciences at under-graduate, post-graduate and research levels

Focus on research for more than four decades

Well known in research fields such as Gravitropism, plant histochemistry, plant growth regulator studies, seed physiology, paleophytology, palynology, algology, plant tissue culture and angiosperm taxonomy

Field based studies for biodiversity and angiosperm taxonomy

Offers consultancy in algae and flowering plants identification and in medicinal plants

Former professor Dr.P.Dayanandan has received the best teacher award, from government of Tamil Nadu.

Research collaborations with institutes such as M.S.Swaminathan research foundation, Chennai; International ocean institute; IIT campus, Chennai; Queen’s university-Canada; foundation for revitalization of local health traditions-Bangalore; centre for plants, people and ecosystems, Chennai and C.P.Ramaswami Iyer Environmental Education Research centre, Chennai

New species and new varieties in plant, fossils, algae and flowering plants have been described by the staff of the department. Two new species Anoectochilus narasimhanii and Orophea narasimhanii  have been discovered by researchers of the department pursuing angiosperm taxonomy.

Pollen atlas for Chennai has been prepared by the staff of the department, which is referred by allergy specialist in Chennai.

Students of this department are recognized for their knowledge and training in Botany and are recruited in Universities, colleges, Non-governmental research organizations in India and research institutes abroad.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS:

Department of Biotechnology under the “Star college scheme” has aided the Botany Department for equipment and consumables. This initiative is to impart scientific knowledge through use of equipments and tools even by under-graduate students. We are sure that this initiative will produce young research minds with good practical training. Apart from analyzing and other modern equipment a state of the art culturing facility for algae has also been commissioned, using the DBT star college funding.

Dr.D.Narasimhan Associate Professor of our department is the principal investigator of the “species recovery” project. Under the project two threatened and endangered species will be mapped, micro propagated and introduced in their habitat and elsewhere. This apart histochemical and cytogenetic investigation and analysis using microscopic techniques would be carried out. A lab with modern facilities and shade house has been commissioned to investigate and produce plantlets.


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FIRST 50 YEARS  - (1937–1987)
SIGNIFICANT EVENTS

Year

Event of importance/significance

1937

Establishment of the Department

1937

Starting year of B. Sc course in Botany

1937-1944

Prof. M. S. Sabesan, First Head of the Department

1944-1968

Dr. K. R. Venkatasubban served as the Professor & Head for the Longest period of 24 years

1959

Introduction of P.G. (M.Sc) course in Botany

1959-1968

Inter-collegiate lectures organized by the Department of Botany, University of Madras for the M. Sc students in Botany in MCC, Presidency College and Pachaiyappa’s College.

1960

Starting of Botany Club for PG students to present Seminars

1962

Botany Society and departmental co curricular activities

1968

Dr. K.R. Venkatasubban left the Department

1968 - 1971

Prof. K. Damodaran Thampan served as the Head-in-charge

1970 - 1971

Dr. K.R. Venkatasubban Inter-Collegiate Oratorical Competition introduced as an annual event

1971 - 1991

Dr. Crispin Devadoss served for 20 years as the Professor & Head

1971 - 1974

Department Magazine ‘Naturalist’ published

1974 & 1976

UGC – COSIP Programme sponsored Summer Institutes for the benefit of college lecturers – Visits and lectures by Eminent botanists namely, Prof. B.G.L.Swamy, Prof. K.K. Lakshmanan. Rev. Fr. Dr. K.M. Mathew and Prof. E. Govindarajulu

1977

First M. Phil Degree awarded to Thiru. Gopal

1977-1978

‘Botany Day’ First organized and conducted by 1975-’78 B.Sc. batch

 1978 Jan

Three Day Symposium on ‘ Plants, Microbes and Man’ Organized by Dr. S. Madhavan and release of Souvenir

 1978

MCC Campus Flora published by Prof. Giles Lal & Dr. C. Livingstone

 1978

College granted the autonomy status – Avenues for Innovation and improvement in the UG/PG curricula

1980 March

2 day Exhibition on ‘Plants in Human Economy

1981

‘Naturalist’ magazine replaced by ‘Capparis’ as the Department’s private publication

1984

First Ph. D. degree awarded to Prof. A. Balasubramaniam, Department of Botany, Pachaiyappa’s College, Chennai.

1983

The department shifted from the main building to the present spacious building with an aid from Central Agency, Bonn, West Germany.





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