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Botanical Survey of India (BSI)- Plant Discoveries 2020

Botanical Survey of India- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: Environment- Conservation, environmental pollution, and degradation.

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Botanical Survey of India- Context

  • The Botanical Survey of India, in its new publication Plant Discoveries 2020 has added 267 new taxa/ species to the country’s flora.
    • The 267 new discoveries include 119 angiosperms; 3 pteridophytes; 5 bryophytes, 44 lichens; 57 fungi, 21 algae, and 18 microbes.
  • Total Plant diversity in India: With these new discoveries the latest estimate of plant diversity in India stands at 54,733 taxa.

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BSI Plant Discoveries 2020- Key Findings

  • Since 2012, a total number of 3,245 taxa of plants from different plant groups have been discovered from India.
    • Most discoveries have been made from seed plants, with 1,199 (37%) taxa, followed by fungi 894 (27%).
  • Geographical distribution: 22% of the discoveries were made from the Western Ghats followed by Western Himalayas (15%), Eastern Himalayas (14%), and Northeast Ranges (12%).
    • The West coast contributed 10% while East Coast contributed (9%) in total discoveries;
    • The Eastern Ghats and South Deccan contribute 4% of each and
    • Central Highland and North Deccan added 3% each.

Botanical Survey of India (BSI)- Plant Discoveries 2020_3.1

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Botanical Survey of India-Key Points

  • Background: BSI was established in 1890 with the aim to explore plant resources of the country and to identify plants species with economic virtues.
  • About: Botanical Survey of India is the apex research organization under the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEFCC).
    • Headquarter: Kolkata, West Bengal.
    • It also has nine regional circles
  • Mandate: BSI is responsible for carrying out taxonomic and floristic studies on wild plant resources of the country.

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Botanical Survey of India- Key Initiatives

  • BSI has Floristic surveys of many of the Indian state and Union territories.
    • Floristic survey of 68 protected areas, 26 sacred groves, 01 Ramsar site, 12 fragile ecosystems and 23 Tiger Reserves have been completed.
  • Towards fulfilling the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation target on ex-situ conservation, the department has 12 botanical gardens spread in different biogeographical zones of the country.
  • BSI has also developed a digital platform ‘Indian Plant Diversity Information System (IPDIS)’.


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