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Birbal Sahni

Date of birth : 1891-11-14
Date of death : 1949-04-10
Birthplace : Behra, West Punjab, India
Nationality : Hindi
Category : Famous Figures
Last modified : 2010-10-19

Birbal Sahni was a renowned paleobotanist of India, who studied the fossils of the Indian subcontinent. Also a great geologist, Sahni is credited for establishing the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany at Lucknow in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Born on 14 November in the year 1891 at Behra in the Saharanpur District of West Punjab, Birbal was the third son of Ishwar Devi and Prof. Ruchi Ram Sahni. Some famous personalities who were regular guests of his parents were Motilal Nehru, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Sarojini Naidu and others.

Read on further about the biography of Birbal Sahni, who received his education at the Government College University of Lahore and later from Punjab University. He attended the Emmanuel College at Cambridge in the year 1914. And after this, he pursued further studies under Professor A.C. Seward and was given the D.Sc. degree from London University in the year 1919. Birbal Sahni then came back to his native country India to work as the professor of Botany at the highly esteemed Banaras Hindu University at the holy city of Varanasi.

Sahni also taught at the Punjab University for about a year. Birbal Sahni's academic background was so strong that he was elected the head of the botany department in Lucknow University in the year 1921. There were numerous such landmarks in the life history of Birbal Sahni, whose fabulous research work was honored by the University of Cambridge that decided to present him with the degree of Sc. D. in the year 1929. In the coming time, Sahni not only continued his own study, but also appointed and guided a number of bright students under him.

He holds the credit of establishing the Paleobotanical Society that went on to set up the Institute of Palaeobotany on 10 September 1946. Professor Sahni was respected by all academicians and scholars of his time both in India and abroad. He was appointed the Fellow of the Royal Society of London (FRS) in the year 1936, which is the biggest British scientific honor. And for the first time since its inception, this award was given out to an Indian botanist.

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