Annasaheb Kulkarni, Department of Biodiversity at Abasaheb Garware college, believes in and imparts ‘borderless education’ to the students by the way of ‘experimental learning’ process. It mainly focuses on research which is supported by prime agencies such as Ministry of environment & Forests (MoEF, GoI), Department of Science & Technology (DST, GoI), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO-UoP), Department of Biotechnology (DBT, GoI), University of Pune to name a few. We have always promoted out of the box thinking which has helped students reach higher levels in their life such as Antarctic Expedition, Darwin Scholarship, Harvard Field Course at Borneo, Asian Geographic Photography prize etc.
We are proud to claim that many of our students have bagged awards for research at National levels and co-authored more than 15 peer-reviewed publications in reputed National and International Journals. This department also offers Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and currently four students are pursuing their Ph.D. on various crucial topics such as Conservation of threatened species, Bio prospecting and Molecular diversity.
To become a Model for self-support in academics, produce research oriented output and extend globally.
- To create awareness on wide range of career opportunities in the field of Biodiversity
- To impart education beyond the boundaries of classrooms and textbooks
- To extend the scope of potential research and creativity
To establish forward linkages with ongoing research projects
What is Biodiversity?
Biodiversity is the appreciation of variability found among 8 million plant and animal species. The term biodiversity (biological diversity) refers to measuring and studying the variety among the living organisms on Earth which includes different ecosystems and the diversity within the species belonging to those ecosystems.
Nurturing Biodiversity is important as it provides ecological support by maintaining oxygen levels, clean air and ground water levels, pollination of plants, the food chain and overall atmosphere. The livelihood of farmers, fishers and timber workers are dependent on biodiversity. It also has great importance for recreational activities such as bird watching, hiking, camping and fishing. But with every passing day, our rich biodiversity is getting depleted due to many threats such as climate change, loss of habitat, overexploitation, invasion by non-native species, deforestation and pollution caused by humans. Hence as the saying goes ‘the fewer animals we have, the fewer human we will have’, it is our responsibility to take care of this precious biodiversity so that all living organisms including humans can co-exist happily.
Edward O. Wilson has rightly said, “Biodiversity is our most valuable but least appreciated resource.” Biodiversity is the largest source of potential wealth for the country, which unfortunately remains under explored. One of the main reasons for under utilization is the scarcity in the knowledgeable and well informed personnel. The current generation of biologists is largely divided into field-oriented taxonomists and ecologists on one hand and the lab oriented functional and molecular biologists on the other. This division has become a restricted the study in Biodiversity.
- Started in 2003, this course is one of its kinds in Pune University sanctioned under Innovative Programs Scheme of University Grants Commission (UGC).
- Monitoring and Utilization (Credit system) is a two year postgraduate course of University of Pune, comprising of four semesters and is a unique program conducted at Abasaheb Garware College, Pune.
- The curriculum gives holistic coverage to the extremely valuable field of Biodiversity. It bridges the gap between field and laboratory biology which helps students to discover their calibre.
- This course will help to generate wealth through a cautious and sustainable use of the country’s bio resources.
Highlights of the course
Exposure and hands-on experience to the diverse fields such as
- Plant, Animal & Microbial Diversity
- Wild Life and Conservation Biology
- Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
- Environmental Pollution & Environmental Impact Assessment, Laws, Policies
- Bioinformatics and Phylogenetics
- RS-GIS in Biodiversity Studies
- Quantitative Biology & Research Methodology
- Molecular Tools in Biology & Bio analytical Chemistry
- Biodiversity Internship and Dissertation
This course involves innovative evaluation practices on and off the field.
This course consists of two years and total four semesters. The first year includes field oriented studies while the second year focuses on labs and practical.
The syllabus for each semester is as mentioned below:
- Semester One
- This semester is devoted to taxonomy and diversity of various life forms and emphasizes on basic techniques of exploration of diversity.
- Semester two
- This semester focuses on quantitative techniques in biology, biogeography and population ecology which forms the key component in shaping up of natural systems. It also includes other subjects such as Environmental Journalism and Media and Biodiversity Internship
First two semesters can make a good naturalist and ecologist as they emphasize on conceptual as well as empirical knowledge of the ways in which natural systems work.
- Semester three
- Topics like Environmental laws & policies, Wildlife and conservation biology, Agrobiodiversity and Livestock diversity form the core of the third semester. In this semester, dissertation & understanding research methodology is a vital component because many projects based on natural systems are dynamic and directed to field level research.
- Semester four
- The last semester will expose students to modern techniques like Bioinformatics and Phylogenetics, chemical diversity, understanding Environment Management and Restoration
Third and fourth semester will expose students to various facets of environment, its conservation and utilization. These two semesters will help students acquire a holistic approach towards assessing potential and utilization of bio resources and protection of natural resources.
Considering the fact that dissertation and understanding research methodology is a vital component, the students shall attempt core/compulsory courses (TC) and some noncore/ optional courses (TNC) for theory and compulsory courses for Practical in the respective semesters.
- B.Sc. with any branch of Life Science, Microbiology, Botany, Zoology, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics Geography, Agriculture, Fisheries, Pharmacy, Medicine, Engineering(any branch) etc.
- Clearing the entrance examination.
- A minimum of 50% marks at B. Sc. (45% marks for reserved category) is required to be eligible for M. Sc. admissions.
There is tremendous scope for research in biological sciences. The thrust areas of research are as below:
- Bio prospecting
- Biodiversity assessment
- Environmental Microbiology
The conservation of biodiversity cannot be like an average nine to five job. It mainly includes working in the field that is staying outdoors, in the forests or sanctuaries among wildlife. They also take care of abandoned or injured animals and ensure that their population size remains healthy.
Some other job opportunities include Aquarist, Herpetologist, Ichthyologist, Marine Biologist, Entomologist, Primatologist, Soil Conservationist, Wildlife Conservationist, Conservation Scientist, Conservation technician, Natural Resource Manager, Agriculture Programme Manager, Sustainability Expert, Nature Conservation Officer and conservation Photographer/Filmmaker Career.
As humans and as one of the factors causing the loss of biodiversity, we are responsible for innovating new ways to create awareness about the harmful effects of loss of biodiversity on human population and the precautions that need to be taken to avoid the loss. Although there is no way to bring back the species which are already extinct, the biodiversity officers have a very crucial job of discovering new ways to slower the rate of loss of biodiversity.
If you are a nature lover and are willing to live a life full of dauntless adventures and amazing surprises presented by nature, this course is your perfect match. By signing for this course, you will receive ample opportunities to be in nature and reveal its beautiful secrets while protecting and nurturing it.