Microbiology is a very important branch of Biological Sciences. The increasing use of microorganisms in industry, biotechnology, diagnostic and clinical microbiology makes it imperative to take-up studies on Microbiology at postgraduate level to train the students in this important branch of rapidly expanding branch of Science.
Microbiology research and teaching in the Botany Department started in 1972 when Prof. A. Seshagiri Rao, an eminent Microbiologist, joined the Department. Soil Microbiology and Plant pathology as special papers were introduced for M.Sc. Botany final year students. A number of research schemes were implemented and more than 15 research scholars received their research degrees up to 1991 in important areas such as pesticide degradation, disposal of distillery effluents, VAM fungi, mycotoxins, aerobiology and path physiology. Also pioneering contribution to elucidate the transmission of soil borne viral plant pathogens by fungal vectors such as Polymyxa sp. has been
made. Thus a strong school of Microbiology and plant pathology was established in the Department which gained wide recognition. With vibrant research activity in Microbiology in the Department of Botany, spanning nearly two decades, the need to create separate teaching and research facilities in Microbiology was felt in the early 1990’s. With this strong background, M.Sc. Microbiology course was proposed in the early 1990’s and was also approved by the UGC for starting the course in the second phase of 8th plan. However, because of financial crunch, the second phase of the UGC 8th Plan was shelved. Hence, M.Sc. Microbiology course was started in 1992 on self financing basis to meet the growing demand from the students for this Subject. The course was well established with stabilization of teaching and practical programmes during the last 14 years. The syllabus of the course is regularly updated to include the fast growing research information and explosion of knowledge in Microbiology. Semester system was introduced from the academic year 2002-2003 and the syllabus was revised comprehensively following UGC model Curriculum for Microbiology. From the academic year 2003-04, Microbiology Department is functioning as an independent unit. The Department is offering M.Phil and Ph.D. Programmes from 2002 on wards.
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