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INDIA’S FIRST UNIVERSITY WITH DIGITAL GARDEN

 

Digital Garden is a concept of digitization of floristic diversity of an area for the easy access of plant data using our mobile phones. The concept of digital garden and creation of India’s first digital garden was done by Shri Akhilesh S.V. Nair, Research Scholar, Department of Botany, University of Kerala, and Dr. A. Gangaprasad, Professor, Hon. Director, Centre for Biodiversity Conservation, Department of Botany, University of Kerala, at Kanakakkunnu Palace, Thiruvananthapuram. After the success of establishing the digital garden at Kanakakkunnu Palace, Thiruvananthapuram, Akhilesh and Gangaprasad also established a digital garden at Kerala Raj Bhavan, which becomes India’s first Raj Bhavan with a digital garden. Now Akhilesh and Gangaprasad created a digital garden at our mother university, through this work University of Kerala becomes the First University in the country to have a digital garden.

Digital garden at university was officially inaugurated by Hon. Vice Chancellor of University of Kerala, Prof (Dr) V. P. Mahadevan Pillai; in the presence of Pro Vice Chancellor, Registrar and Syndicate members.

More than 250 species of trees were documented in the Palayam senate house and Kariavattom campus. All the documented data were digitized through website creation; QR code linking. By digitizing the information of the plants in the University of Kerala, visitors can learn more about our biological diversity. Any person who are interested in Plants can assess the website freely – https://www.keralauniversity.ac.in/digital_garden/home .  In order to create a digital garden, the QR code is placed along with the plant label. By scanning the QR code with a QR code scanner in the mobile phone, the code translates the URL and open to the website; where the person can access the complete data of individual species, which includes its scientific name, synonyms, family, local names, flowering and fruiting period, distribution, habitat, IUCN status, endemism, uses and description of the species characters.

About Authors

Mr. Akhilesh S. V. Nair is a First Rank Gold medallist in M.Sc. Genetics and Plant Breeding from Department of Botany, University of Kerala and presently doing Ph.D. in the Department of Botany, University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Akhilesh S. V. Nair is honoured with the prestigious Prof. A. Abraham Gold Medal award for his Master’s degree first rank. He also achieved first rank in B.Sc. Biotechnology from University of Kerala. Mr. Akhilesh qualified CSIR-JRF with 13th rank in all India level, DST-INSPIRE fellowship, KSCSTE fellowship. Through his M.Sc. dissertation work he becomes the innovator of India’s First Digital Garden in Kanakakkunnu Palace, Thiruvananthapuram.

Dr A. Gangaprasad awarded Ph.D. from University of Kerala on the topic ‘In vitro culture of selected rare and exquisite orchids of the Western Ghats’ in 1997 and presently working as Professor in the Department of Botany, University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and also holding the additional charge as Hon. Director, Centre for Biodiversity Conservation, University of Kerala. His field of interest are Conservation Biotechnology, in vitro production of high value secondary metabolites, Angiosperm Taxonomy, and Germplasm Conservation. Presently engaged with conservation of wild ornamental plants of Western Ghats, establishment of gene bank for RET species from Andaman & Nicobar Island in the Department of Botany, University of Kerala. He has 28 years of research experience and published more than 100 research papers in reputed journals and edited three books.

 

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