Inked MoUs with overseas entities to expand scope of activities: Zoological Survey of India director

  • | Tuesday | 28th June, 2022

Kolkata, Jun 28 (PTI) The Zoological Survey of India has signed MoUs with several overseas organisations, including London"s Natural History Museum, to expand scope of its activities, a top official said on Tuesday. The 107-year-old institute has signed MoUs with 25 central and state universities across the country to carry on research in biodiversity, ZSI director Dhriti Banerjee said."We have signed a memorandum of understanding with National History Museum, London that has a collection of many rare fauna species belonging to our country."When we have to undertake study of certain extinct fauna species belonging to this region, we need to go to their roots which may not always be in our possession. The collaboration with NHM London will help both sides as they can also be benefited from our collections for their research projects," Banerjee said after a press conference here.She said the ZSI has collaborated with the Bhutan government for a study on red panda."We have also inked MoUs with Altai State University Barnaul, Russia and International Barcode of Life Consortium for academic encouragement and development of cooperation and exchanges," she said.The ZSI has added 4,094 species, including 2,971 new ones, in the last 10 years, she claimed.The Kolkata-headquartered organisation has planned to renovate the existing marine aquarium at Digha in West Bengal"s Purba Medinipur district to make it more attractive but frequent cyclonic storms in the recent past hampered the work, she said."Five years back, we had planned to have a tunnel marine aquarium at Digha in line with a similar facility in Singapore and its blueprint has been prepared," she said.The Rs 500-crore project is yet to be implemented due to a fund issue, another ZSI official present at the press meet said.Banerjee said the ZSI will launch a website on Indian butterflies and release four books on fauna diversity on the 107th ZSI day celebrations on July 1."There are 1,500 species of butterflies which will figure in the website," she said.Banerjee mentioned that the ZSI has made formulations to kill mosquito vectors in water and this invention can be used with conventional insecticide applicators.As part of the ZSI day celebrations, scientists will be honoured with the prestigious E K Janaki Ammal award in the fields of plant, animal and microbial taxonomy at a function that may be attended by Union Environment Bhupender Yadav.Union Minister of State for environment Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Environment Secretary Leena Nandan are likely to participate in the programme. PTI SUS BDC BDC

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