The Botanical Survey of India (BSI) is premier plant taxonomic organisation under the Ministry of Environment, Forest &amp;amp;amp; Climate Change, Government of India, BSI act as the custodian of the country’s floral wealth. BSI has been engaged in exploring, identifying and documenting rich plant resources of the country. Sir George King, who was the then Superintendent of the Royal Botanical Garden, Calcutta (now rechristened as Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden), became the first Director of the Botanical Survey and was holding the dual charges of Garden and the Survey. A consolidated flora of the Indian subcontinent had been published under the leadership of Sir J. D. Hooker between 1872 and 1897. The Survey flourished for about half a century and generated both material base and literature for taxonomic research. Subsequent to the retirement of C.C. Calder in 1939, the Survey turned quiescent till 1953. Botanical Survey of India when established in 1890 at Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta, by British, had a very limited role to play but soon after independence the Survey was reorganized by the Government of India.
After independence, Dr. E.K. Janaki Ammal was appointed as ‘Officer on Special duty’ by Government of India in 14 October, 1952, for revival of Botanical Survey for building the much desired inventory of the country’s rich plant resources. The reorganisation plan, submitted by her was approved in 29th March 1954 and since then Survey was strengthened with focus to undertake intensive exploration surveys, to document the plant resources the country, to act as a custodian of authentic collections in herbaria, for the advancement of taxonomic research in the country and as a stakeholder in different strategy of plant conservation and sustainable utilisation.
The Directorate consists of Flora Cell, Cryptogrammic Section, Palynology Section, Central Library, Publication Section, Technical Section, Pharmacognosy Section, Ecology and Plant Chemistry Section. The central library is with about 54,500 accessioned books and subscribes more than 62 National and International journals. The Pharmacognosy section possess about 700 crude drug samples, while cryptogrammic section has more than 70,000 specimens of Pteridophytes, 5,000 of mosses, 2,000 of liverworts, 4,500 fungi, 3,000 lichens and 1,500 algal specimens.
At present there are 16 regional centres/units of BSI and headquarter is located at 3rd MSO Building of Central Government Offices Complex (CGO Complex), F-Wing, DF Block, Salt Lake City, Kolkata, West Bengal, 700064.