The Zoological Survey of India, founded on 1 July 1916 by Government of India Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, as premier Indian organisation in zoological research and studies to promote the survey, exploration and research of the fauna in the country.
Headquarters – Kolkata with 16 regional centre under the ministry of environment, forest and climate change.
The Indian government approved the appointment of Dr Dhriti Banerjee as the director of the Zoological Survey of India. She is a prolific scientist, conducting research in zoogeography, taxonomy, morphology and molecular systematics.
ZSI’s women scientists have been carrying out regular surveys exploring faunal diversity from the Himalayas to the deep sea and nearly 60% of the new species discovered are by women scientists today,” said Banerjee. “In the past century, only 20% of the total scientific staff strength in ZSI are represented by women. But their scientific contributions prove that they have played a key role in strengthening the roots of ZSI,” she said.
On breaking the glass-ceiling in this organization, she mused, “Women are blessed with unique power to strike a balance between work and family. But I was lucky to have had an exceptionally supportive one — my husband, Sughran, daughter Roinee and my parents. I am also grateful to my mentors in the organization for their guidance.”
Even though women are equal partners in scientific development and nation-building, their scientific journey around the world began only in the late 19th century. In fact, ZSI, headquartered in Kolkata with 16 regional centres under the ministry of environment, forests and climate change, started hiring women scientists as late as 1949, after more than three decades since its inception on 1 July 1916. Mira Mansukhani thus created history in an organization which until then was largely dominated by men.
While speaking to a leading daily about her new achievement, she stated that the 100-year legacy of Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) would help her to catapult the organisation to the next phase in biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Since 2012, she has worked as the co-ordinator of ZSI’s Digital Sequence Information Project.
On the occasion of its centenary celebrations in 2016, Banerjee had co-authored the “The Glorious 100 Women’s Scientific Contribution in ZSI”, which chronicled the contributions of women scientists in the domain of animal related groups.