Welcome to the Department of Biology’s web page. We hope that you will find it helpful in learning about our undergraduate program in Botany and Zoology as well as about our students, faculty and staff members. The St. Xavier’s College Ahmedabad is the flagship educational institution in the State of Gujarat and the Department of Biology is one of the oldest Department in the college. We invite you to use the various links to our home page which can help you to learn more about the unique opportunities presented by our department.
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The Biology Department, an umbrella department that includes both Botany & Zoology subjects, was one of the first branches of Science to be set up at St. Xavier’s College. Zoology was established when the college itself was started in 1956 while Botany was started later in 1982.
The department during its yesteryears boasted of several of the city’s finest Biology teachers that included stalwarts like Dr. P. Y. Parmar, Dr. T. S. Pathan, Dr. H. K. Suthar. Dr. S. M. Laliwala, Prof. S. M. Bhatt and Prof. M. J. Gandhi, who had inherited the mantle from their illustrious predecessors like Profs. G. A. Kapadia, M. M. Upadhyay, J. D. Oza, Mr. Mansuri, Mr. Bhavsar and others.
The department is currently headed by Dr. S. V. Sondarva, an ex-Xavierite, who heads a enthusiastic team of highly qualified & experienced faculties that include Dr. M. D. Momin, Prof. R. M. Parmar (ex-Xavierite) and Prof. A. J. Koshti (ex-Xavierite) (all Zoology) and Fr. (Dr.) L. D’Cruz s.j., Dr. K. J. Dubal (ex-Xavierite), Dr. M. H. Gadani and Prof. J. N. Parmar (all Botany). The team is completed by the administrative staff comprising of Mr. A. J. Macwan (Lab. Asst.), Mr. S. Parmar (Plant Collector), Mr. P. Patella and Mr. M. F. Christie (Peons).
Until 2011, when the Gujarat University was following the annual pattern of teaching, any student who took admission in the F.Y.B.Sc. B-Group, i.e. Biology, had to study a paper of Botany & Zoology each in the first year. In the second year, these students then could choose Botany as their major subject (alongwith Zoology) OR Zoology as the major subject (alongwith Botany or Biochemistry or Biotechnology). Eventually these students graduated out with the major subject upon completing their third year.
However, from June 2011 onwards, the Gujarat University has adopted the CBCS i.e. Semester System, due to which students can take admission directly into the major subjects viz. Botany or Zoology. At present, students taking admission in the F.Y.B.Sc. (Sem-1&2)-Botany has to also study Zoology & Chemistry while those students taking admission in the F.Y.B.Sc. (Sem-1&2)-Zoology has to study Botany & Chemistry. Later in the S.Y.B.Sc. (Sem-3&4), the Chemistry subject drops off and in the T.Y.B.Sc. (Sem5&6) the students have to study only the major subject that they had been admitted to.
Both, Botany & Zoology are the parent subjects of all other Biology daughter subjects that have budded off from the main Biology subject. Both these subjects are not meant to be studied only within the confines of the classroom or laboratory and hence regular field trips, institutional visits and study tours are being arranged so that students get a first-hand knowledge of the subject. In fact these study tours are a very important component while learning the subject.
Students of Botany have studied the vegetation of Mt. Abu, Sawantwadi, Dediapada forests, Gir, Saurashtra and Kutch. Eminent plant taxonomist, Dr. Marselin Almeida has accompanied the students on several such botanical tours and often delivers lectures in our department. The Zoology students have visited National Parks like Gir & Kanha and sea coasts of Tamil Nadu, Goa, Ratnagiri, Okha, Dwarka and Diu. The Zoology students have also visited inland fisheries centres at Linghda & the Ukai Dam. Visits to the Indroda Park, to public gardens and scientific institutes like the Community Oncology Centre (Cancer Inst.) and the renowed Gandhinagar FSL are a regular part of the yearly program.
The Biology Dept. treasures a priceless collection of butterflies, moths, preserved animals, wood samples, seeds, a small herbarium and several rare botanical & zoological specimens.
The dept. also houses a rich collection of books that help the students to enrich their subject-knowledge.
During the past 2 decades, the Botany section of the dept. has played a stellar role in setting up the chain of Ecological Niches which make St. Xavier’s College one of the greenest college-campuses in the city. These are believed to contain close to 900 species of flora including ornamental & medicinal plants, a Cactorium, a Green House and a beautiful lotus pond. Several plants have been researched by the staff & students of the XRF, the Botany and Biochemistry Departments. Botany & Zoology students have carried out projects on several components of the niches.
The department boasts of a long list of alumnae/alumni and several of the best medical practitioners in Ahmedabad today.
We offer a 3-year B.Sc. Programme in Botany as-well-as Zoology. An aspiring candidate can take admission in any one of the two subjects in order to graduate out.
Each academic year comprises of 2 semesters. Hence, in order to get a degree of B.Sc. in either of the two subjects, a student has to clear a total of 6 Semeters. The syllabus of each successive semester is designed in such a way that as a student progresses forward, he/she studies the chosen subject more-and-more in details and develops the practical skills too.
Besides the degree programme, we also offer a 1-year Career Oriented Programme (COP) on “Gardening and Landscaping”.
You can avail the unitised syllabus by clicking here.
Fr. (Dr.) L. D’Cruz has built over the past more than 10 years, a network of medicine men & women who belong to the Vasava tribals who inhabit the Dediapada forests of South Gujarat, a place that is 250 kms. away from the college campus. The department, through Fr. (Dr.) L. D’Cruz, is currently involved in a project that aims at generating income for the tribals through their ethno-botanical wisdom, in collaboration with Manthan, an NGO.
Another unique venture is the involvement of the department’s staff and students in the setting of the Tarumitra Gujarat, a network of 5 city NGOs that have been actively involved in contributing to the environment conservation in a mega-city that has the dubious distinction of being among the most polluted in the country.
We have two departmental libraries, one each for Botany and Zoology.
The Botany library has 191 books while the Zoology library has 346 books. Besides these, the college central library also houses several more books for biology.
Students are encouraged to make good use of our departmental libraries to enrich their subject knowledge.
Dr. S. V. Sondarva
HoD, Biology Department,
St. Xavier’s College,
Tel. No. 079-26308057
Visit us on any day except holidays. You can also talk to any of our staff members & students, visit our laboratories and see for yourself.
For all purposes regarding the Botany subject, Fr.(Dr.) L. D’Cruz is in-charge.