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Prof. P. Maheshwari

The Botanica, Vol. 2 (No. 1), September 1951

       The advantage of having an All India Botanical Magazine for students are manifold. One is that it can enable us to have a view of the plant science in its proper perspective. More often than not text books and lecture rooms make us narrow minded, dull, blind to the realities of life. The thought of the examination haunts us like an obsession all the twenty four hours. A properly conducted magazine can help remind us that the study of plants is a much more enjoyable thing than we usually find it, and that botany is intimately related in many ways to everyday human life. It will help the student and the teacher alike in developing a dynamic and progressive attitude towards the learning and teaching of botany. The magazine can help students even with the inevitable examinations. All students, particularly those belonging to Honours and M.Sc. classes, often find that the information given in books and learned periodicals is not always in the form in which they can assimilate it.

      "When people with common interests, aims and objects attain a certain level of intellectual advancement and their number becomes considerably large, they begin to feel the need of a medium of expression through which they can exchange their views, discuss their difficulties and problems, help one another with their experience, offer and receive cooperation where joint effort is needed, and plan for a better and happier future. We claim that we the students of Botany in India have attain that stage.

      The greatness of our country with a score of Universities and innumerable colleges, and many more expected to come up in the near future, with thousands of students reading botany distributed all over the vast area of many lacs of square miles, justifies our feeling that we need an organ of our own, an organ that will bring us closer together intellectually and emotionally in an organized manner, although thousands of miles separate us physically.


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Sometimes it is too widely scattered.  On some topics there is a host of theories and views, conflicting and confusing. Botanists with ability and experience, capable of writing in lucid style in unambiguous and simple language can be invited to write review articles on such subjects. If these are read before and after a study of the original works, it might help students a great deal in understanding and assimilating the subject and in expression when the occasion demands. Periodical information concerning the more important happenings of the botanical world through the medium of an efficiently directed magazine also leads to a growing realization of the fact that we are members of a great and expanding organization. The magazine can also give us information about the scope and prospects of employment or of further advanced studies, research or specialized training in academic or applied branches of botany. An All India Botanical Magazine, designed expressly to serve the students, can do all this and more. The Botanical Society of the University of Delhi has made a beginning in the form of "THE BOTANICA" which is already being read and subscribed even by people outside Delhi. It has inspired the birth of another magazine like itself from Aligarh. Would it not be worthwhile to make the Botanica an all-India organ? Readers of this article are requested to think over the proposal in all its aspects, discuss it among friends in and outside Delhi and send us their frank and considered views, as soon as possible.


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      On behalf of the staff of this department and the executive council of the University Botanical Society, I wish to extend a warm and sincere welcome to all the members of our clan and to apologise to them for our inability to produce the BOTANICA in a more dignified style as we had intended last year.   

This is due to the rising cost of paper and printing and the difficulty of getting any additional financial support from outside sources. It is hoped, however, to bring out a special number of the BOTANICA dealing with some aspects of the History of Biological Sciences which will be supplied to members at a nominal cost and might prove useful to them not only for enlarging their vision and broadening their interests but also to provide information which is not so readily available other-wise. If all goes well, this number should be in your hands considerably before the end of the second term. 

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    It is also planned to enlarge the sphere of our activities in other ways. We hope to have more excursions and symposia, and I trust the students will take every advantage of the opportunities afforded to them of writing articles, of speaking and of seeing the objects of their study in nature. It is good to prepare for the inevitable examinations but there are other aspects of life which are no less important and which do merit your attention. 

    One more word and I have done. We should like to maintain some contact with all the students who pass out of this department and I shall be happy if present members will intimate to me or to the Secretary the addresses of as many old students as possible so that a proper directory can be prepared and improved upon from time to time."​

~ P. Maheshwari, The Botanica, Vol. 2 (No. 1), September 1951

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