• Sleepy Hollow, Nainital, Uttarakhand
  • registrar@kunainital.ac.in
Botany Department: DSB Campus, Nainital

The Botany department was established in 1951 as a government postgraduate college and since 1973 it is functioning as a University department. The department is one of the premier departments of the University which has been graced and headed by many internationally known scientists/ teachers including Prof. K. S. Bhargava, Prof. S. C. Gupta, Prof. B.S. Mehrotra, Prof. J.S. Singh, Prof. S.P. Singh, Prof. Sudhir Chandra, Prof. U. Palani, Prof. P.C. Pande, Prof. N. Pande and Prof. S. C. Sati. The department is also known for some persons like Prof. R.D. Khulbe, Prof. Y. P.S. Pangtey and Dr. Giribala Pant for their extraordinary work in their fields. Prof. K.S. Bhargava, Prof. J.S. Singh and Prof. S.P. Singh were awarded FNA for their outstanding contribution and other prestigious awards like Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar prize and Birbal Sahni medal, while working in the department. Prof. YPS Pangtey was awarded FNASc for his contribution.

The department has also been included under FIST programme, DST, New Delhi and recognized as DRS (SAP) department, UGC New Delhi. The department actively collaborates with major institutions like NBRI Lucknow, GBPIHED, Kosi-Katarmal, Almora, RARI CCRAS Thapla Ranikhet, NBPGR Bhowali, BSI Dehradun, CMAP Lucknow, CAMP Dehradun, DIBER Haldwani and BSIP Lucknow. A large number of research projects and several collaborative research programs involving various national and international agencies have been completed and ongoing. Over 700 research papers have been published in international and National repute and more than 225 students have been awarded Doctoral degree in the past three decades. Specimens of Angiosperms, Pteridophytes, Bryophytes, Fungi and Lichens are preserved in the departmental herbarium. The Department housed a herbarium of Angiosperm (2500), Pteridophytes (300), Bryophytes (>200), Fungi (>100) and Lichens (nearly 100). Department conduct courses at undergraduate, postgraduate and Ph.D. level. At Post Graduate level the department offers specializations in Forest Ecology, Bryology, Plant Pathology, Ethnobotany and Taxonomy of Angiosperms for students. The department is regularly publishing an annual News Letter “OAKS” for more than ten years. Department is regularly organizing various scientific activities like seminars, workshops, conferences, debates, quizzes etc.

Infrastructural facilities
The department has well equipped and computerized laboratories of Plant Tissue Culture, Plant Pathology and Aquatic Mycology, Ecology, Taxonomy and Bryology. At present department have two glass houses, one mist chamber and botanical garden to carry various experiments and research activities. The major equipments available in the department for research activities are Spectrophotometer, Pressure chamber, Laminar air flow chamber, ultra cool centrifuge, lypholizer, BOD Incubator, seed germinator, LCDs, Micro Kjeldhal unit, Microscopes, Xerox machines, Research Microscopes, Multi media facility, Fax facility etc.

Research activities/ Thrust areas:
This group is devoted to plant ecology of the Himalaya. The research extends from tropical forests up to the alpine meadows, includes diverse ecosystems such as diverse as grasslands, lakes and forests, and includes organisms from aquatic plants to epiphytic cryptogams to forest trees. Their work includes most of the scales considered by ecologists, from physiology at the leaf level, through whole plant response to ecosystem processes, and it has contributed to the accuracy of studies at the level of the biosphere. The research has considered most of the environmental factors that affect vegetation development nutrients, water, animals, geomorphic events and human disturbance and most of the life-cycle processes of plants, including reproduction, leaf production, growth, nutrient cycling and productivity. The group has worked with situations ranging from the most pristine forests available in the region to areas severely damaged by both human and natural disturbances, and has included the relationships between agriculture and natural vegetation.

Mycology and Plant Pathology
Main thrust areas of mycological research are aquatic mycology, mycorrhizae, root endophytes and bioactivity testing of botanicals, taxonomy, pathology and ecology of zoosporic fungi in Kumaun Himalaya. Research on Aquatic fungi of Kumaun Himalaya, watermolds (zoosporic fungi) and Hyphomycetes (conidial fungi) is the main focus of this group. The following are the major disciplines of Mycology and Plant Pathology on which researchers are actively involved:

  1. Aquatic fungi in relation to fish diseases and their control.
  2. Aquatic fungi in relation to the diseases of agricultural and forest plants.
  3. Aquatic fungi, their ecology and decomposition biology.
  4. Activity of aquatic Hyphomycetes as root endophyte and their role as biofertilizers as well as pollution indicator.
  5. Studies related to Antibacterial and antifungal activities of various Kumaun Himalayan plants.

Systematic and biodiversity of flowering plants and ferns
This group is dedicated for exploring the flora of the Himalaya from the foothills to the alpine zones. The work is focused on the collection of detailed information about each plant species pertaining to their population, habit, habitat, flower color, flowering and fruiting periods together with their regional, national and global distribution along with their economic value and importance. The information is providing immense help in assessing the rare, endangered, threatened and endemic taxa of the region and their conservation. The establishment of the regional herbarium consisting of several specimens of Kumaun Himalayan plants is the dedicated effort of this group. Macro propagation (vegetative propagation) of Taxus baccata, Ginkgo biloba, Salvia rosmarinus (Rosemary), Tinospora cordifolia, Pterocarpus takil have been worked out. A botanical herbarium was established in the department by Prof. Y.P.S. Pangtey and his students which include 250 species of angiosperms and 300 species of pteridophytes from Kumaun Region.

Plant Tissue Culture
Plant tissue culture laboratory in the Botany department have been established in 2005. The laboratory has undertaken the in vitro and ex vitro studies of endangered and rare medicinal plants and important forest trees for their propagation. The future research work will focus upon the advance studies of these endangered and ecologically important plants. Hands on training programmes in basic techniques used in plant tissue culture, are also being organized for M.Sc. students and faculty members of Uttarakhand state.

In Bryology laboratory, researches are being carried out on various aspects of bryophytes, viz., identification and listing of bryophytes on diverse habitats, diversity, habitat preferences, phytosociological and ecological studies, conservation. Besides these studies, antimicrobial potential and tissue culture of these plants is being done.

Ethnobotany and Traditional knowledge Systems
In ethnobotany, work is in progress on survey and identification of plants used by local people as food, medicine etc. plants used in drug preparation and religious ceremonies are being collected and identified. Ecological aspect and present status of important plant species is being studied and on the basis of these finding, conservation measures would be formulated to save the plants in their native habitat.


  1. FNAs from the Department: Prof. K.S. Bhargava, Prof. J.S. Singh and Prof. S.P. Singh
  2. FNASc from the Department: Prof. S.P. Singh and Prof. Y.P.S. Pangtey
  3. Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award: Prof. J.S. Singh
  4. Pitamber Pant Award: Prof. J.S. Singh
  5. Birbal Sahni Medal by Indian Botanical Society: Prof. S.P. Singh
  6. Zeer Shah Nidhi award: Prof. B.S. Mahrotra
  7. Fellow of Botanical Society (FBS): Prof. S.C. Sati
  8. Fellow of Phytopathology Society of India (FPSI): Prof. S.C. Sati
  9. Fellow of Society of Plant Reproductive Biology (FSPRB): Prof. S.C. Sati
  10. Fellow of NIE: Prof. S.S. Bargali
  11. Fellow of Botanical Society (FBS): Prof. Lalit M. Tewari
  12. Uttarakhand Ratna Award: Prof. Lalit M. Tewari
  13. Governor Certificates for NSS : Prof. Lalit M. Tewari
  14. S.K. Seth Prize: Dr. Kiran Bargali
  15. First price in poster presentation in International symposium at FRI Dehradun: Dr. Sushma Tamata
  16. Member of IUCN-Species Survival Commission Medicinal Plant Specialist Group: Dr. Anil K. Bisht & Dr. Harsh Kumar Chauhan

Other significant achievements of the Department

  1. Department is recognized under DRS Phase –I (SAP) of UGC w.e.f.01-04-2011.
  2. Departmental Newsletter “OAKS” is being published since last ten years.
  3. Recognized as FIST Department by DST, New Delhi.
  4. Establishment of herbarium and botanical garden of Kumaun region.
  5. Discovered 8 species of fungi New to Science and 35 species new to India.
  6. New technique developed for counting conidial production in aquatic fungi.

Collaborative research projects:
About 40 research projects funded by CSIR, DBT, DST, MOEF&CC, NMPB, ICSSR, UGC, UCOST etc. have been completed while 4 research projects are in progress.

Flora Published-

  1. Medicinal Plants of Ranikhet
  2. Biodiversity Potentials of the Himalaya
  3. Flora of Ranikhet, Western Himalaya
  4. Medicinal Flora of Tarai Region of Uttarakhand
  5. Crude Drug Plants of Uttarakhand
  6. Lichens of Nainital, Western Himalaya
  7. Sacred Forests of Pithoragarh, Western Himalaya, India
  8. Agri-Diversity Patterns and Local Food Systems in Kuloor Watershed of Kumaun, West Himalaya
  9. Orchids of Nainital, Western Himalaya, India
  10. Pteridophytic Flora of Nainital District, Western Himalaya, India.
  11. Traditional Medicinal Systems and Threatened Medicinal Plants of Kumaun, Western Himalaya, India
  12. Natural Products and Their Utilization Pattern
  13. Orchids of Kumaun
  14. Ferns of Nainital

Books/Edited Books /Monographs

  1. Himalayan Microbial Diversity (in 2 Volumes)
  2. Recent Advances in Mycology
  3. The Mycorrhizae: Diversity, Ecology and Applications
  4. Microbes: Diversity and Biotechnology
  5. Conservation, propagation and utilization of high value medicinal plants of Kumaun Himalaya.
  6. High Altitudes of Himalaya Vol 1 and Vol 2
  7. Ecology, Environment Science and Conservation
Head of the Department

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About Head of the Department: Dr. Surendra Singh Bargali is Professor & Head in the Department of Botany and teaching UG, PG and Ph.D students for more than 30 years. He is a hard core researcher and has published about 180 research papers in premier International and National research journals of Ecology. He has completed several research projects sponsored by ICAR, MoEn &F, DBT, BSP, NRSC, UGC, ICSSR, DST.

He is a Fellow of National Institute of Ecology and member of several National/International scientific societies and committees.

He has joined Kumaun University in 2011 as a Professor. Before joining this institution he has served as Scientist, Sr. Scientist and Professor in Indira Gandhi Agicultural University, Raipur.

Faculty Members of DSB Campus Nainital
S.No Name Designation Specialization Email Phone Photograph Academic Profile
1 Dr. S. S. Bargali Professor and Head Ecology surendrakiran@rediffmail.com 09410579117 Dr. S. S. Bargali View Profile
2 Dr. Lalit M. Tewari Professor Plant Taxonomy tewari@rediffmail.com 09412362085 Dr. Lalit M. Tewari View Profile
3 Dr. Kiran Bargali Associate Professor Ecology kiranbargali@yahoo.co.in 09458939856 Dr. Kiran Bargali View Profile
4 Dr. Sushma Tamta Associate Professor Plant Biotechnology sushmatamta@gmail.com 08126966284 Dr. Sushma Tamta View Profile
5 Dr. Neelu Lodhiyal Associate Professor Plant Ecology and Taxonom neelulodhiyal@gmail.com 09411538146 Dr. Neelu Lodhiyal View Profile
6 Dr. Anil K. Bisht Associate Professor Medicinal plant Biodiversity and Tissue culture bishtakb@rediffmail.com 0941204500 Dr. Anil K. Bisht View Profile
7 Dr. Kapil Khulbe Assistant Professor Medicinal plant Biodiversity and Bioactivity kapilkhulbe@gamil.com 09412313614 Dr. Kapil Khulbe View Profile
8 Dr. Harsh K. Chauhan Assistant Professor (Guest Faculty) Conservation Biology hkchauhan_conservationbiologist@yahoo.com 9557916395 Dr. Harsh K. Chauhan View Profile

Botany Department: DSB Campus, Nainital
  1. Time Table (Year 2020-21)