- The department of Biosciences had its humble origins in V.P. Mahavidyalaya, Vallabh Vidyanagar, as Department of Botany in the year 1958.
- The previous premises located very close to the University Administrative Offices, were acquired in the year 1972 and inaugurated by Prof. M .S . Swaminathan, the then Director General, ICAR, New Delhi.
- Since the inception of the Department, the founder members of its teaching faculty and their successors worked relentlessly to establish high standards of teaching and research that brought recognition to the department at national and international levels. In the year 1977, the University Grants Commission, New Delhi gave generous funds to the department for expanding its (its expansion) programmes and later the department was re-christened as (this resulted in re-christening the department as) Department of Biosciences.
- The Department with the help of generous donation from Bhanuben and Ratilal Doshi family got a new premises (Bhavan) located at the University Maidan, Vadtal Road, and was shifted in September 2005.
- The department now offers six post-graduate courses (Botany, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Microbiology,Zoology and Industrial Biotechnology)and conducts research in various fields.
- The expansion enabled the department to keep pace with the advances in Biological Sciences which in turn helped the faculty members to widen their research areas to deal with contemporary issues related to agriculture, environment, biodiversity, health care etc.,
- The Department is active in shaping the vision 2010 of the University by taking up extensive R&D Programmes which are being supported by various national agencies like UGC, DBT, CSIR, DOE, ICAR and several other state government agencies (departments) and some autonomous organizations.
- The Department is also supported by UGC- SAP(DRS), UGC- SAP II (DSA), UGC-COSIST, DST- FIST : I/II/III and UGC-CAS-I programmes. The Department also received special Infrastructure development grant twice in successive years, 2007 and 2008.
Genesis of the Department
The history of the department includes series of events dating back to the establishment of Sardar Patel University in October, 1955. The teaching of Botany was initiated in 1950-51 by Professor J. G. Chouhan at Vitthalbhai Patel Mahavidyalaya of Vallabh Vidyapith as a part of undergraduate courses. Department started post-graduate courses in Botany somewhere during the academic year 1953-54.
The first M Sc. Botany batch of the University came out in 1958. It is one of the oldest departments of Sardar Patel University. The department has acquired a new building near the University’s main administrative office in the year 1972, which was inaugurated by Dr. M. S. Swaminathan. Since the inception of the department the founder members of its teaching faculty and their successors work relentlessly to establish high standards of teaching and research, which brought recognition to the department at national and international levels. The major contributors of flourishing the department during its early growth includes, Prof. T. S. Raghavan, Prof. J. G. Chouhan, Prof. J. A. Inamdar, Prof (Miss.) B. P. Deshpande, Prof. J. J. Shah, Late Prof. G. L. Shah, Prof. R. J. Patel, Prof. P. M. Mehta and Prof. Y. S. Dave. During initial years of the department establishment, Plant morphogenesis was the major thrust area of the research initiated and strengthened by the founder faculty members and their junior colleagues. During this period, Prof. G. L. Shah’s significant work in the area of Plant Taxonomy has yielded very rich dividends in the form of his book on ‘Flora of Gujarat’, being one of its kind of recording the floral wealth of the state. Besides, Prof. R. J. Patel’s contributions to the algal flora of Gujarat and Prof. P.M. Mehta’s active research in the area of Plant Physiology were also backbone to the research strength of the department.
By encompassing some more younger faculty members, the research activity of the department has been further strengthened and newer areas of research were identified during the tenure of Prof. J. J. Shah’s headship Therefore, recognizing the enormous potential of the department, University Grant commission, New Delhi had funded the department in the year 1977 to expand its scope as the Department of Biosciences. That way two new Post-Graduate courses viz. M. Sc. Life Sciences and M. Sc. Microbiology were introduced in 1977 and 1978 respectively. Prof. H. C. Dube, Prof. J. D. Patel Dr. J. D. Desai and Dr. Anjana Desai; Dr. V. C. Kotak initiated research programmes in Plant Pathology, Wood Anatomy, Microbiology, and Zoology respectively , while the teaching the subject of Biochemistry was initiated by Dr. Harish Padh and subsequently by Dr. M. S. Jarullah. Subsequently Prof. I. L. Kothari and Late Dr. B. C. Rana also initiated work in the areas of Plant and Microbial interaction and Environmental Biology respectively. In continuation of the tradition of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach in the Department and also for maintaining the sustainability of multifaceted growth of Department, it encompassed several other young and talented faculty members from different disciplines of Biosciences.
Later on Dr. Ramesh Ray, Dr. E. Ramnath, Dr. Kishoriben Patel, Dr. Vijay Thakkar, Dr. Baljit Punjarit and Dr. L. B. George have played significant role in strengthening teaching and research in various disciplines. This expansion enabled the department to keep pace with the advancement in the subjects of Biological Sciences which in turn helped the faculty members to widen their research areas to deal with the contemporary issues related to agriculture, environment, biodiversity, healthcare etc. Looking into the rapid developments in the fields of Biological sciences, Post-Graduate courses in Biochemistry, Biotechnology and Zoology were introduced in the Course curriculum of the Department in 1987, 1988 and 19992 respectively. One of the key factors in the development of Gujarat is considered to be the industrial growth in the state. The strategic position of Department of Biosciences, in the centre of the state, surrounded by a large number of big and medium sized industries of pharmaceuticals, textiles, dyes and agriculture, brings a growing demand for trained man power to cater the need s of these industries. Realizing this need, Department started a Post-graduate course in Industrial Biotechnology sponsored by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), New Delhi in the year 2004. Department has shifted to present building in the year 2005 and renamed as ‘Bhanuben and Ratilal Doshi School of Biosciences’. At present the Department runs both M. Sc. and Ph. D. programmes in Botany, Zoology, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology and M. Sc. in Industrial Biotechnology. The dream of the founder members of the Department to grow the Department into a pride giving academic and research institution in the present status has been a result of tremendous team work being contributed by the present faculty members include Prof. Datta Madamwar, Prof. Kiran kalia, Prof. A. V. R. L. Narasimhacharya, Prof. K. C. Patel, Prof. T. V. Ramana Rao, Prof. R. B. Subramanian Prof. J. S. S. Mohan, Dr. A. S. Reddy, Dr. Ujjval B Trivedi, Dr. Amita Shah, Dr. Hresh Keharia, Dr. Sujata Bhatt, Dr. Vasudev R Thakkar and Dr. M. Nataraj.
Research is given a high priority both for its own sake, and to ensure that the Department’s teaching is based on the best possible understanding of the life process in microorganisms, plants and animals. This multidisciplinary approach envisages the basic and applied research into the structural and molecular organization, and physiology and biochemistry of growth and development of organisms.
The Department of Biosciences began its scholastic journey way back in 1958. Over the years the Department has crossed several milestones. These are:
|1958||Establishment of Department of Botany (in V. P. Mahavidyalaya)|
|1972||Inauguration of the Building of Botany Department (Adjacent to Administrative Office of the University)|
|1977||Rechristening of Botany Department as the Department of Biosciences|
|1977-91||M. Sc. in Life Sciences|
|1978||M. Sc. in Microbiology|
|1981||UGC – DRS Programme|
|1987||M. Sc. in Biochemistry|
|1992||M. Sc. in Zoology|
|1995||UGC- DRS Phase-I|
|1998||M. Sc. in Biotechnology|
|2001||DST-FIST (Phase – I) Level – I|
|2004||DBT-sponsored Post-graduate course in Industrial Biotechnology|
|2005||UGC-sponsored Post-graduate course in Bioinformatics (in collaboration with Computer Science Department)|
|2005||Inauguration of B. R. Doshi School of Biosciences|
|2007||UGC – SAP (DSA) Phase – II|
|2009||DST – FIST (Phase – II) Level I (B & C)|
|2010||DBT – Centre of Excellence|
|2015||UGC – Centre of Advanced Study (Bioresource Technology)|
The Department’s journey continues………..