With highly diverse geographical conditions as in the vast stretches of lofty Himalayan mountains; tablelands and plateaus in the Vindhyan ranges and the Western and Eastern Ghats; the deep valleys and foot-hills of Assam; Central Indian high-lands; the alluvial plains of North and the lower terrains of Southern India, the Indian region exhibits a variety of flora and forest types within a confine for which there is perhaps no similar example exists in any other country of the world. Since ancient times, the vegetable resources of India had attracted the attention of the traders from within the country and outside. The trade with India on plant based and other forest produce grew in time attracting more and more Arabians, Turkish, Portuguese, Dutch, French and finally the British traders.
The trade with India on plant based and other forest produce grew in time attracting more and more Arabians, Turkish, Portuguese, Dutch, French and finally the British traders. The Portuguese were probably the first amongst the Europeans to enter India for trade andultimately gave way to Dutch until 1570 when the British entered the arena and subsequently established East India Company. At the close of 1599, Queen Elizabeth signed the charter and subsequently the British traders became the rulers. The discrete utilisation and scientific management of forest wealth of India was given priority by setting of definite policies. It was under this and other similar circumstances, an institution for the survey of the enormous botanical resources of the country was conceived. Towards the later part of 16th century the utility of medicinal virtues of plants prompted the teaching of Medicine in North Italy, with simultaneous development of ‘live’ and ‘dry and preserved’ gardens. These dry gardens consisting of dried and mounted specimens kept in definite sequence were used as teaching aids for plant science. Soon medical professionals extended similar activities to places outside Italy. Even before the formation of East India Company in 1599, in India there had been another similar botanical pursuits.
Mandate of Botanical Survey of India
Exploration, inventorization and documentation of phytodiversity (including non-flowering plants) in India; publication of National, State and District Floras.
Identification of Red list species and species rich areas needing conservation; ex situ conservation of critically threatened texa in botanical gardens.
Survey and documentation of traditional knowledge (ethnobotany) associated with plants.
Develop National database of Indian plants, including herbarium specimens, live specimens, botanical paintings, illustrations etc.
Revisionary/Monographic studies on selected palnt groups.
Capacity building in plant taxonomy thorugh refresher courses and post M.Sc. certificate course.
Environment Impact Assessment of areas assigned to BSI for study.
Develop and maintain Botanical Gardens, Museum and Herbaria.
Preparation of Seed, Pollen and Spore Atlas of Indian Plants.