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The Great Outdoors

July 6, 2011

Several Indian institutes that are dedicated to the study of the great outdoors are based in Dehra Dun, far from the madding crowd…

The newest among these is the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) that started in 1982. As its name would suggest, WII aims to train people in the areas of  wildlife research and management. The Institute is also actively engaged in research  on biodiversity related issues.

The Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology is an autonomous research institute of the Department of the Science & Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India. Named for D N Wadia, the doyen of Himalayan geology  (FRS and National Professor),  this started life in Delhi University (in the Botany department!) moving to Dehra Dun only in 1973.  During the last quarter century the Institute has grown into a centre of excellence in Himalayan Geology and is recognised as a National Laboratory of international repute with well equipped laboratories and other infrastructural facilities for undertaking advanced level of research in the country.

The granddaddy of them all is the venerable Forest Research Institute (FRI) that was established (as the Imperial Forest Research Institute) in 1906. A premier institution under the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), the FRI, set in the sylvan surroundings of Doon Valley, the Forest Research Institute is a proud testimony to the foresight and vision of foresters and administrators of long ago. Located on a lush green estate spread over 450 hectares, with the outer Himalaya forming its back drop, the Institute’s main building is an impressive edifice, marrying Greco-Roman and Colonial styles of architecture.  

The Wadia Institute brings out the journal Himalayan Geology that publishes original contributions on all aspects of geology of the Himalaya. The papers present new findings, related scientific data and good synthesis on geology, geophysics, or climate (including monsoon) with dominant emphasis on the Alpine-Himalayan Mountain Belt and adjoining terrains. 

The WII has a large number of its publications available for download as PDF files, as for instance their report on the Status, distribution and Conservation perspectives of Lesser Florican in the North-Western India, that has the charming and seemingly exuberant cover image of this sadly endangered bustard.

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