Local chapter of Society of Ethnobotanists launched

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Oct 24: Department of Botany, University of Jammu, organised virtual inauguration of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh Chapter of Society of Ethnobotanists (SEB), Lucknow.
SEB is one of the premier science societies established by Dr S K Jain – father of Indian Ethnobotany in 1980. The society has a vast experience of working with tribal people within the country and mushrooming the growth of ethnobotanical research in India.
The event was inaugurated by Prof Manoj K Dhar, Vice Chancellor of JU and Chief Patron of the local chapter. Talking about the importance of ethno-botanical research, he said that like biotechnology, molecular biology, there is equal need to nurture the traditional subjects like ethnobotany and plant taxonomy.
Chief guest of the function, Dr A A Mao, Director, Botanical Survey of India (BSI), who is the President of SEB, in his inaugural lecture, stressed upon the requirement of the Ethnobotanical Research in the country. He said that many drug discoveries are the result of ethnobotanical leads obtained by the botanists and ethnobotanists in the country.
Vice President of SEB, Dr A K Goel, while introducing the history and the objectives of the society, said that the society was started in 1980 and presently it has more than 250 members in different States and UTs of the country.
During the event, Dr S K Srivastava, editor, Ethnobotany, who is former Joint Director and Head of Northern Regional Circle of BSI, elaborated on the scope of ethnobotany in Ladakh as he has a wide experience on the flora of Ladakh and extensively worked on the ethnobotany of Ladakh.
In the beginning, Prof Veenu Kaul, Head of the Department of Botany, JU and patron of the chapter, presented a formal welcome address whereas Prof Namrata Sharma introduced Dr Mao to the audience. Dr Harish Chander Dutt, co-ordinator of the chapter apprised the participants about the objectives and scope of the chapter in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and in concluding remarks, Dr Ranee Om Prakash, curator of Natural History Museum, London and vice-president of SEB, stressed that contribution of the local source should be acknowledged by the researchers.
The programme was coordinated by Dr Skarma Nonzom. More than 70 researchers from all over the country and research scholars of the department attended the inauguration through virtual mode.