The Botanical Society of Bengal

The Botanical Society of Bengal is housed in the Department of Botany, University of Calcutta at 35 Ballygunge Circular Road, Kolkata 700 019. The Society emerged through the endeavour of some outstanding personalities who assembled in a meeting held at the Botanical Laboratory, University College of Science, Calcutta at 3- 30 p.m. on the 13th December, 1935 with Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, the then Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calcutta as the President of meeting. This inaugural meeting urged the formation of a society being supported by the President Sir Prafulla Chandra Ray, Kt, Dr. S. C. Law- the then Sheriff of Calcutta, Mr. C. C. Calder, Director, Botanical Survey of India and the Superintendent of the Royal Botanic Garden, Sibpur, and Professor S. C. Mahalanobis of the Presidency College, Calcutta. The celebration of the inaugural meeting was organised by a committee with Prof. S. P. Agharkar, the then Sir Rashbehary Ghose Professor of Botany as its President. Since then the Society was christened as Botanical Society of Bengal in 1936 with the main objective to promote the cause of Botany and safeguard the interests of Botanists of Bengal. Late Professor G. C. Bose happened to be its first President.

His excellency, the Governor of Bengal was a patron of the Society.In fact, from the inception, the society has been continuously striving to serve the cause of Botany and is forging ahead following its character of objectives.

The Society has started publishing the Bulletin since 1947. Original Research papers in all branches of Botany are being published from all over India and abroad. So far 61 volumes of the Journal have been published including some special volumes.

At present the following memorial Lectures are organised regularly:  i) J. Sen Memorial Lecture ii) P. Parija Memorial Lecture iii) S. M. Sircar Memorial Lecture & iv) A. K. Ghosh Memorial Lecture (under the auspices of Prof. T. M. Das Foundation) v) P. C. Datta  Memorial Lecture and vi) G. Panigrahi Memorial Lecture.

In order to provide encouragement to young botanists the Society has instituted the following awards every year with the financial aid from the donors: i) Prof. H. L. Chakravarti Memorial Award, ii) J. Sen Memorial Medal and iii) Dr. P. Chatterjee Memorial Awards. Further, Prof. S. C. Datta Memorial Fund has been created by his students to felicitate some senior botanists of the State for their valuable contributions in Botany every year in collaboration with the Society.

With the changing scenario of the Society acquiring an all India character both in its publications and membership the name of the Society was changed to National Botanical Society in 1985. However, as desired by the members, the Society is now functioning in the original name of “Botanical Society of Bengal”.

The Botanical Society of Bengal celebrated its Diamond Jubilee year (1935- 1995) in a befitting manner in 1995 and organised a National Seminar on “Recent Advances in Plant Sciences” during 11th- 12th April, 1995. The President of the organising Committee was Prof. A. K. Sharma and the Convenor was Prof. Ranajit Mallick. The Symposium was inaugurated by Prof. R. N. Basu, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calcutta.

The Botanical Society of Bengal also organised another National Symposium on “Frontiers of Research in Plant Sciences” during December 2- 4, 1999 at the Auditorium, Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Jadavpur, Kolkata 700 032.

The Inaugural Session of the Symposium was inaugurated by Dr. (Mrs.) Manju Sharma, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India. The introductory lecture was delivered by Prof. A. K. Sharma, CAS, Deptt. Of Botany, C.U. and Presidential address was delivered by Prof. R. N. Basu, Vice Chancellor of the University of Calcutta.

Prof. Asis Datta, Vice-Chancellor, J.N.U., New Delhi; Dr. R. S. Paroda, DG, ICAR, New Delhi; Prof. Anupam Verma, Dean & Jt. Director, IARI, New Delhi; Prof. Arya K. Bal, Deptt. Of Biology, Memorial University, Newfound Land, Canada, and several others delivered Invited Lectures during this Symposium. There were 110 registered participants in the Symposium.


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