Govt. of West Bengal
Bethune College
Bethune College

Department of Botany

Bethune College : Chemistry Department

Course Details

Three year Honours Degree Course (Calcutta University).
U.G. General Course for students with Honours in other Humanities/Science subjects.
Two year Post-Graduate Course in Botany (affiliated to the University of Calcutta).

About the Department

Botany has the distinction of being the first science subject to be taught in The Bethune College. Miss Hemaprova Bose (sister of the eminent scientist Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose), Head mistress of the collegiate school, also took the responsibility of teaching the subject as lecturer during 1903-1914, after which she become a full time lecturer in Botany in the college..

The course was affiliated to the I.A. standard of the University of Calcutta (1918-19). The college was affiliated to I.Sc. of The University of Calcutta in 1923-24. Meanwhile Botany was affiliated to B.A. standard and one student stood first in Botany in the B.A. examination of the University of Calcutta in 1926. One student of the college obtained the Janki Prasad scholarship for securing the highest marks in Botany in the Intermediate Examination of the University in 1931.
In 1941 the college was affiliated in Biology for I.Sc. and the staff strength was increased with one more lecturer in each, Botany and Zoology. Results were very satisfactory in all the years.

Mrs. Sally Lewis joined this department in 1939 and she subsequently became the Head of the combined departments of Botany and Biology. In 1958 the B.Sc. Pass classes in Botany, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry and Zoology were started. In 1960 the combined departments of Botany and Biology split into two distinct departments as Botany and Zoology and these were shifted to the new Science Building. In 1961 the Honours course in Botany started with three students.

The Postgraduatation course in Botany was commenced in 2005 with 20 students under the ambit of University of Calcutta. PG students carry out in-house Projects and review work for partial fulfillment of M.Sc. degree in their special paper. Projects are carried out in the Department of Botany, Ballygunge Science College, University of Calcutta, CRIJAF, Rice Research Institute, Chinsurah, Department of Microbiology, St. Xaviers College, West Bengal Biodiversity Board. Presently the intake capacity for PG Course is Twenty-one. From the session 2015-2016, the PG Department has introduced the Semester System of evaluation. There are four special papers presently running i.e Cytogenetics and Genomics; Plant Physiology and Biochemistry; Molecular Biology and Plant Biotechnology; Plant Taxonomy and Biosystematics.

Research and Extension Activities

  • The Head of the Department, Dr. Ashok Kr. Das is Interested in Taxonomy of Leaf Inhabiting Fungi, Biopesticides, Biological Control, Aeromycoflora. Completed two research projects funded by U.G.C. and two students completed Ph.D under his guidance. Besides, he has to his credit national and international publications.
  • Dr. Sumita Ghosh is interested in Trehalose metabolism in yeast; Physiological plant pathology, Phytoalexin and Phytoimmunology; Mushroom cultivation. Completed one research project funded by U.G.C. and one student completed Ph.D under her guidance.
  • Dr. Dipayan Chattopadhyay has to his credit national (14) and international (06) publications. His area of Research is Cytogenetics-study of somatic and meiotic chromosomes; measurement of in-situ nuclear DNA content, plant tissue culture. He has also completed a UGC -Sponsored Minor Research Project on Algal Diversity of CoochBehar District.
  • Dr. Seemanti Ghosh is interested in ex situ conservation and genetic diversity of indigenous medicinal plants in terms of polymorphism and investigation of genetic diversity and evolutionary relationships of economically important plants of India with the aid of molecular cytogenetic tools.
  • Dr. Sanghamitra Sanyal specializes in Taxonomy of Angiosperms and is presently occupied with a Minor Research Project on 'Seedling morphology - an aid to identification of some overexploited medicinal plants, a new approach in plant taxonomy and conservation of Biodiversity', Sanction no. UGC (Minor) No. PSW-047/13-14 dated 18.03.2014, Grant- Rs. 3,20,000/-.
  • Dr. Saswati Laha, specializes in Molecular biology of plant stress tolerance and presently is working with a UGC minor Research project vide Ref. No. PSW-046/ 13-14 (ERO) ID NO. WC2-021 DATED 18th March 2014 Titled: Characterization of Genetic Diversity of selected rice (Oryza sativa L.) landraces of West Bengal in relation to salinity stress tolerance and accumulation of higher polyamines
  • Dr. Sritama Mukherjee is presently working on plant abiotic stress tolerance. She is also interested in exploration of endangered /medicinally important plant species and their conservation through in vitro regeneration.
  • As part of Course curriculum of UG and PG, the Department organizes educational tour for the students to acquaint them with the floral diversity and vegetation of different Phytogeographical areas. Excursion to Guwahati, Shillong, Mawsynram was arranged in 2013 and in 2015 students were taken to Dooars, Lava and adjoining areas and in October of the same year to Shimla, Kulu and Manali. Every year students also visit the Central National Herbarium and Acharya Jagadish Chandra Indian Botanic Garden, Howrah. Students also visited the Medicinal Plant Garden and Tissue Culture Laboratory at Neempith and the State Pharmacopoeial Laboratory and Pharmacy for Indian Medicine in 2015.
  • Eminent speakers like Dr. Aparajita Chatterjee , Post Doctoral Research Associate, Boston University, USA; Prof. Tarak Mohan Das, Former Professor, Dept of Botany C.U; Prof. N. D. Paria, Prof., C.U; Dr. Niranjan Bhattarcharya, Scientist, CSTM, Kolkata; Dr. Nandita Basu, Director, Scientist, CSTM, Kolkata have enlighted the students in Departmental Seminars hich are held timeto time in the Department. Recently, Dr. Mandira Mukherjee, Head of the Department, Department of Medical Biotechnology, Calcutta Schol of Tropical Medicine delivered a seminar lecture on 'Genomics to Proteomics: A Bioinformatical approach' in 2015.
  • Dr. Smita Ray is interested in studying polymorphism of medicinal plants by cytological and molecular biological techniques as well as biotechnological approach to obtain secondary metabolites from medicinal plants.


  • The Department has been provided with computers and internet facility.
  • Class rooms with ICT facility: LCD Projector oriented teaching facility available in 6 rooms
  • The Central Library has 3910 books. The Departmental Library has 300 books; Book Bank has 150 books and there are 10 Journals.
  • Laboratories: Plant Biotechnology (2), Molecular Biology (1),General lab (2), Tissue culture (1)
  • Available instruments in the department: Gel documentation system, UV/Vis spectrophotometer, colorimeter, PCR, Centrifuge, Double distillation plant, Laminar air flow etc
  • Herbarium: A herbarium is present in the Department which consists of plant specimens belonging to more than 100 families of Angiosperms. Besides, there are pteridophytes and gymnosperms specimens as well.
  • Medicinal Plant Garden: A medicinal plant garden consisting of about 40 plant species is present in front of the department.

Departmental Prizes/Scholarships

  • Giridranath Mitra Memorial Prize: Two Prizes For standing first in Botany Honours and for securing highest marks in Botany General Examination.
  • Hemaprova Bose Memorial Prize: Awarded to the student who stands first in Botany Honurs.
  • Maya Mitra Memorial Prize: Awarded for the best dissertation in M.Sc Examination.
  • Nityananda Sarma Memorial Prize: Awarded to student who secures first position in M.Sc Examination.
  • S.N Sengupta Memorial Prize: Awarded to student who secures first position in M.Sc Examination.

Students Section

  • The Department encourages the students to pursue higher Education and research.
  • Students participate in several co-curricular activities in Annual Fest of the College, Aalap and have won several prizes. They are involved in NSS of the College.
  • Student participation in Seminars and exhibitions outside College: Students were participated in UGC Sponsored National Seminar on "Prospect of Biotechnology in Rural Bengal" organized by Uluberia College in Collaboration with Narasingha Dutta College, Howrah on 17th and 18th January, 2014
  • Student's seminar: Seminars are conducted every year by UG and PG students on different topics of their choice with relevance to the subject.


    Debasruti Boral of Botany (Hons.), UG III,2015 is a recipient of Recipient of DST-INSPIRE Scholarship (Registration/IVR Number: 201400013555). She is presently working on a research project as a senior scholar of JBNSTS on the topic "Green Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles with Alpinia galanga and its anti-microbial properties and mode of action." under Dr. Abhijit Kar and Dr. Riddhi Mukherjee since 1/1/2014.

    Amrita Singh and Rupsa Bose of PG, 2015 PG Botany won champion trophy in debate competition organized by West Bengal Biodiversity board, on 22nd may 2015.


  • Accompanied by departmental teachers, PG Semester II went for an excursion to Kerala in April, 2016 and UG II went to Darjeeling in November, 2016


Syllabus :


PG: Syllabus distribution 2015

       M.Sc syllabus in botany final

Important Links :

Links to study material/websites/fellowships:

Department News

Notices :

PG Sem-I and Sem-III classes will be held during the autumn vacation from 03.10.2016 to 09.11.2016 according to scheduled routine.

Results of PGII 2015 was declared on 05.10.2015. All students (19) secured first class.

PG sem-I classes will be held during the autumn vacation from 28.10.2015 to 09.11.2015 according to scheduled routine.

Results :

UG:  In 2016, out of 19 students 09 got first class.
        In 2015, out of 21 students 12 got first class.
        In 2014, out of 20 students 09 got first class.
        In 2013, out of 16 students 11got first class.

PG:  Results of PGII 2016 was declared on 28.09.2016. Out of 19 students 17 secured first class.
        Results of PG Sem-II 2016 was declared on 28.09.2016. Out of 21 students 15 secured first class.
        In 2015, all students secured first class out of 19.
        In 2014, out of 18 students 16 got first class.
        In 2013, all students secured first class out of 20.

Seminars :

A departmental seminar was organised on 19.09.2016. Topic: "Tinkering Secondary Metabolism through in vitro manipulation". Speaker: Dr. Abhijeet Bandyopadhyay, Associate Professor, Department of Botany, University of Burdwan

"Genomics to Proteomics - A Bioinformatic Approach" Speaker : Dr. Mandira Mukherjee, Head, Department of Biochemistry and Medical Biotechnology, School of Tropical Medicine, Kolkata held on 1st of October 2015.