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Course profile: Botany

During three years of their graduation, students are exposed to almost a complete spectrum of plant life. Dr Mohammad A Parvaiz introduces us to this course.

delhi Updated: Jun 09, 2008 00:47 IST

Botany is the pick of the choice for all those who really love nature, particularly greenery around them. Students with such a bent of mind feel more comfortable and enjoy whatever they learn about the plant world.

With growing awareness about the environment, forestation and climate, students even at school level are more interested to learn about the green friends around them. During three years of their graduation, students are exposed to almost a complete spectrum of plant life. They learn about the external features or the morphology of the plant, their classification, their internal structure and the whole array of functions — bio-chemical as well as bio-physical, their genetic makeup, relationships within the group and with other groups, their origin and evolution, their relationships with human beings and other inhabitants of this planet, their role in nature, their ecological significance as an agent of change and, last but not the least, their economic importance which ranges right from the harvester of solar energy to provider of food, fodder, forest, shelter, medicine and what not.

It is interesting to note that in this era of energy crises, these humble plants are the ultimate source of energy, be it petroleum products or coal or their derivatives including gas, everything owes its origin to plants.

Who can study?

All those students who pass-out their 10 plus 2 with biology as one of the subject can opt for botany as a career. Once they complete their graduation they have a whole range of careers available to them.

Career options

They can do post-graduation, either in botany as a pure science or in synergistic department like environmental botany or biology, toxicology, life science, molecular biology, physiology and biochemistry, genetics, bio-technology and even in related fields of agricultural science.

Those not interested in pursuing an academic career may opt for different competitive exams, particularly Indian Forest Services, which is conducted by UPSC and is a Class I service. As graduates they are eligible for all other competitive exams conducted by UPSC as well as other agencies at the state level.

Those opting for a Master’s degree can move either to research and/or teaching as well as to industry, particularly those related with food and nutrition, forensics, dyes and drugs and other chemical products and their processing. The newly established fields of biotechnology and molecular biology also offer interesting options and careers for these students. The emerging fields of DNA computing bio-fuels as well as nano-technology are among the newer options available.

Dr Mohammad A Parvaiz, Principal, Zakir Husain College