BENGALURU: Nature enthusiasts will now have free access to peer-reviewed information on over 10,000 species of plants from peninsular India, thanks to the Digital Flora of Peninsular India, a website developed by Indian Institute of Science’s (IISc) Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES).
An IISc release on Sunday said the website was launched here on Saturday by Lakshmi Narayanan, CEO of Cognizant Technologies, and Kameswara Rao, retired chair of the Department of Botany and Sericulture, Bangalore University. The duo has been instrumental in promoting this initiative: Narayanan, recently, made a personal contribution to this cause and Kameswara Rao chaired the database’s peer-reviewing committee.
Addressing the gathering through a video call, K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, congratulated Rao and his team. He suggested that they also bring out the website in Kannada. In response, Rohini Balakrishnan, the Chair of CES, assured him that bringing out the website in multiple languages was on the cards.
This online database draws on the information available in the herbarium — a collection of dried, pressed plant specimens and their associated data housed at CES, the release said. The herbarium was founded by botanist CJ Saldanha, who collected these specimens from Karnataka’s flora.
With the database in place, Rao and his team will gather information on plant diversity from parts of north-central India, including Chhattisgarh. People can also make suggestions at the website http://flora-peninsula-indica.ces.iisc.ac.in/