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October 18, 2006

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  DR.A.N.NAMBOODIRI: BOTANIST WHO LED TBGRI TO WIDE RENOWN
Dr.A.N.Namboodiri, Thiruvananthapuram

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Building an institution is as significant as - if not more important than making a few discoveries / inventions oneself.  In the case of botanist Dr.A.N.Namboodiri, his contributions in the field of botany are not insignificant though his role in leading the Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI) at Palode, Thiruvananthapuram to be a premier R&D organization too deserves mention.

Born in 1930, Namboodiri came under the influence of stalwart teachers who guided his interest to the scientific field.  In 1960 he went on scholarship to do research at Michigan University, USA.

What was once a grand tool of scientific enquiry fades into insignificance after some time, due to the fast onrush of science and technology.  In US, Namboodiri had the opportunity to be a student under Ronald Biglow, one of the developers of the electron microscope. This led to his making use of the tool on the cell division related issues.  A winner of the Rockam Fellowship for the best research scholar in 1963, he completed the thesis the following year.

A post doctoral study on the reasons for infertility in plants soon followed after he came back to Kerala University in 1966.

In 1983, he was posted as the director of the 300-acreTBGRI.  Those days even basic amenities like water, power and telephone were absent in the campus.  He took pains to groom young scientists by exposing them to trainings/conferences in India and abroad.  A large collection of rare plants were gathered and nurtured in the Institute.  And by 1990, the Institute had obtained a leadership role in plant protective measures in South Asia.

As a member of academic committees of many universities, he was responsible for timely revision of syllabus.  He was also the editor of the first research journal in Malayalam, Journal of Biology.

 

Courtesy: Dr.George J.Paruvanady, Malayalam, May 12, 2006
Contributed by: Administrator

 

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