Madhya Pradesh State Biodiversity Board is a statutory body under the Department of Forests, constituted by the State Government as per the provisions of Biological Diversity Act, 2002 notified by the Government of India. The objectives of Board are Conservation of biodiversity, Sustainable use of its components and associated traditional knowledge.
The thrust areas of Board include research and documentation of various facets of Biodiversity, preparation of People's Biodiversity Registers(PBRs), activation of Biodiversity Management Committees(BCM) constitute of local bodies and promoting local conservation and propagation of Rare, Endangered and Threatened(RET) species like Guggul, Achar, Traditional Paddy Varieties, Mahasser Fish, Batagur Turtles in National Chambal Sanctury.
Before we write about ourselves, we will like to gratefully acknowledge the constant support, guidance and patronage of our teachers, Dr. Pramod Rai and Dr. Shashi Rai throughout the project. As seasoned botanists, adorable teachers and people with magnanimity, they stood by us at every step, resolving our difficulties, motivating us to progress and to accomplish the task. But for their help it was not possible to submit the present endeavor. We thank them and assure them that we will continue with our academic pursuit in future also to fulfill their aspirations.
The present work is a joint venture project carried out by both of us over the past 3 years. We are engaged in teaching Botany and doing research work for past 4 decades, serving in government colleges of Madhya Pradesh. We initiated research activities in the field of Plant Taxonomy about 8 years ago.
Dr. Madhuri Modak, Principal Investigator and Professor of Botany, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Government Degree College, Ashta (Sehore), has completed Major Research Project on the Taxonomy of Angiosperms of Bhopal. A detailed report was presented to University Grants Commission, New Delhi, enumerating 1034 Angiosperms of Bhopal, the Capital City of Madhya Pradesh. Such work was carried out after a gap of about 35 years and was highly appreciated, as the flora prepared is the first of its type being colored flora with photographs of the plants and their illustrations. Simultaneously a herbarium is also developed, which is maintained at Motilal Vigyan Mahavidyalaya, Bhopal
Dr. Nasreeen Siddiqui, Co-investigator and Professor of Botany, Government Geetanjali Girl's Postgraduate (Autonomous) College, Bhopal, has undertaken a Major Research Project to compile the entire research work in Botany, carried out in different universities of Madhya Pradesh on Phytodiversity. This was a marathon exercise and the outcome is very useful for researcher in botany as it gives glimpses of the entire work at one place. It will help the teachers and research scholars in writing Review of Literature and deciding topic for new research work. It is available to all by making it online.
The present project gave us a very good opportunity to venture into an area, which is relatively less explored. A virtual herbarium is still not a very popular concept and we have only few examples of such herbaria. A virtual herbarium is accessible by all and does not require the user to reach the spot where the herbarium is preserved. We have also given an artificial key for the identification of plants.
Apart from University Grants Commission, we have good academic linkage with Madhya Pradesh State Biodiversity Board. They have sponsored number of projects to our academic group, the present one being one of them. Generally, we work in a group, which is supported by senior Botanists as well as some junior colleagues. Our group is academically enriched group of enthusiastic Botanists, who are willing to take up new challenges and are ready to work out on areas where we have expertise.
It is heartening that both of us are collogue and friends for past five decades and have shared innumerable academic activities together.