Ministries & Departments
The Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences is an autonomous organization under the aegis of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, established by Professor Birbal Sahni, FRS to explore and develop paleobotany as a science in itself, visualizing its potential in solving issues of origin and evolution of plant life, other geological issues including exploration of fossil fuels. In its broadest sense, the BSIP seeks to interpret plant life evolution and geological processes involved and environmental evolution through time. The main research work involves the understanding of plant evolution through geological time. Emphasis has been made to derive knowledge about the diversification of Precambrian life, diversity, distribution and inter-basinal correlation of Gondwana and Tertiary floras, coal/lignite quality and to understand the interaction between the climate and change of vegetation in the Quaternary Period.
The museum of the Institute offers a rich repository of fossils collected from India and received from around the globe. It also houses a herbarium to aid in comparing the past and the present vegetation. The radiocarbon dating laboratory of the Institute is the only such national facility in the country. With the newly widened research mandate, the Institute has acquired the TL/OSL system useful for the precise dating of archaeological artifacts and Quaternary sediments. The IRMS, ICP-MS, GC-MS, XRF systems have recently been added for geochemical analyses, besides the establishment of the palaeomagnetic, and ancient DNA laboratories, FE-SEM., Confocal Laser and Raman spectroscopy. The Institute hosts national/international scientific meets from time to time, and also publishes catalogs, atlases, etc. on special occasions, besides publishing an international journal The Palaeobotanist.