CSIR-NBRI Herbarium Online

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Dr. Harsh Vardhan launches ‘CSIR-NBRI Herbarium Online’ on the CSIR-NBRI website during a visit to the CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow

Union Minister for Science & Technology & Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, launched the “CSIR-NBRI Herbarium Online” on the CSIR-NBRI website (www.nbri.res.in), thus making One Hundred Thousand Herbarium collections accessible worldwide. He also released a flyer “CSIR-NBRI HERBARIUM ONLINE” on the occasion.

The Minister took keen interest in reviewing the detailed features of the new website likeMechanism to enter specimen label data, taxonomic upgradation data, descriptors, GPS Data & Specimen Images & Video Images and Link to Genomics Data and GIS Maps. He applauded the efforts put in by Bioinformatics group and advised that there should also be a provision for the availability of the data on uses, information useful to general public (especially students, teachers, researchers, environmentalists etc.) like distribution, landscaping, geographical occurrences so that it becomes a unique knowledge resource of the country for every citizen.

It was also informed that digitization of One Lakh specimens of higher plants has been completed thus making it a unique database of India in terms of Data Profile. This database has a future potential of linking the other 95 Herbaria of India.

Addressing a gathering of Senior Scientists, Entrepreneurs, Industrialists, Officials and Farmers at NBRI, Lucknow, the Minister said that Scientists should think out of box and work towards development on innovation driven research.  He stressed upon the idea that CSIR sister labs should work together in synergy in networking mode by sharing of ideas, coordinated planning and carrying forward the initiatives of the Government of India.  Encouraging each Scientist to have a dream and transforming lives of common masses of India by developing plant based products, he emphasized on the need for optimal utilization of resources provided to the CSIR labs in terms of manpower and Research & Development infrastructure.

Director, CSIR-NBRI, Dr. C.S. Nautiyal, gave a brief presentation on the R&D activities, Public Interactions, and Novel products developed by the Institute.  He also presented a brief account of National Facilities of the Institute viz., National Herbarium and about three lakh holdings in the same; Botanical Garden and its theme gardens; and the recently created Bonsai House, Jurassic Gallery along with some plant varieties newly developed by the Institute.  Apart from the national facilities, Director’s presentation also included three short term deliverables (Anacardic Acid, Thebaine Rich Opium Poppy Lines and Low Grain Arsenic Rice Variety) and Mission Mode Projects planned by CSIR-NBRI for the next few years to come. Director also informed the Minister about an international Project awarded by GEF / UNIDO to CSIR-NBRI.  This project involves development of Neem based pesticides to eliminate the use of D.D.T. from India.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan specifically directed CSIR-NBRI to take up on an urgent basis the work of scaling up of ‘Herbi Chew’ on a priority basis as a potentially useful product to replace the cancer causing tobacco-based GUTKA currently available in the market.  He was very happy to learn about the progress in the development of ‘Muktashree’, a low Arsenic uptake variety of Rice, developed by CSIR-NBRI and Department of Agriculture, West Bengal and envisaged earliest release of this variety for the benefit of citizens living in Arsenic affected areas.

The Minister appreciated the effort of scaling up of CSIR-NBRI and CSIR-CIMAP (Central Institute for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow) joint product BGR-34, the country’s first anti-diabetic ayurvedic drug designed for Type-2 diabetes mellitus. He noted that there is an overwhelming response to this drug among Diabetes Type-II patients throughout India.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, during the visit, was also appraised about the important contribution of the CSIR-NBRI in promoting Floriculture technology by a progressive farmer from Barabanki, who saidthat CSIR-NBRI technology has helped to increase his income by several folds.