For students who have a keen interest in fields such as genetics, molecular biology, biotechnology, other key research areas as well as the Indian Forest Services, a course in botany (honours) lays a firm foundation for the same.
The course is a mix of biodiversity, chemistry, molecular and cell biology, plant development and anatomy, genetics and genomics and plant biotechnology along with mathematics and statistics. The course also includes a concurrent course in technical writing and communication in English.
With a total of 24 papers, the course begins by laying the basis of biodiversity in the first two semesters after which students are taught the basics of molecular biology and the ecological system in the subsequent semesters. Finally in the last two semesters, students are made to study about environmental management and plant biotechnology.
"The course offered by the university is good but it needs further improvement as far as balancing practical and theoretical aspects of the course are concerned. However, the course opens up a lot of opportunities for students who wish to go into research or the forest services. Today, botany is perhaps one of the more comprehensive courses than any other science course offered by DU," said Kaushal Bhargav, a student of Hindu College.
"For a student to do well in botany, a strong base in biology is very important. It is the only subject which is close to what you'll learn in graduation," said KK Koul, who teaches botany at Hindu College.
Koul added, "Most of our students go into research in subjects related to biotechnology and microbiology. Another area in which our students do well is the Indian Forest Services and Agricultural Services as they have a better idea about what they will work with."
(Shaswati Das and Mallica Joshi )