The Department of Botany is one of the oldest Departments of GC University Lahore, imparting instructions at both the Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels. The Department was established in 1902. Among the many prominent scholars associated with the Department, Prof. Shiv Ram Kashyap joined the then Government College Lahore in 1912 and served as Chairperson of the Department till 1934. Professors of stature, Prof. S.L. Goose and Prof. A.C. Joshi, lead the Department after him. After the Independence of the Subcontinent, Dr. A.A. Qureshi was appointed as the first Pakistani Professor of Botany and served as Chairperson, Department of Botany till 1959. Dr. Sultan Ahmed, a mycologist and taxonomist of international repute, chaired the Department till 1970. Classes for the MSc Botany Programme of the University of the Punjab and Government College Lahore were held under the same roof here at the Botany Department till 1962. It was during the chairpersonship of Dr. Sultan Ahmed that the University of the Punjab took its Botany Programme to its own campus. Other prominent Chairpersons of the Department over the decades have been Prof. A.R. Zafar, Prof. A.H. Zafar, Prof. Jawad A. Khan, Prof. Masud-ul-Hasan, Dr. R.A. Mirza and Dr. A. U. Khan. Prof. A.R. Zafar deserves special mention for he introduced a culture of inquiry and original research which continues to burgeon here at the Department.
Prof. Zaheer-ud-Din Khan is the present Chairperson of the Department. His areas of research interest are Plant Taxonomy, Anatomy and Ethnobotany. He is also involved in screening out local flora for their use as possible sources of antibiotics, antifungal and anticancer medicines.
The Department of Botany offers a wide range of opportunities to all those who are affiliated with it. GCU’s botanists have contributed immensely towards the progress and development of the country. Old Ravians from the Department have served as administrative heads and researchers in various national and international research organisations such as the Pakistan
Agricultural Research Council (PARC), the National Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE) and the Organisation for Islamic Conference (OIC). In consideration of these achievements, the Department is recognised as a centre of excellence. The Department is striving hard to meet the challenges of the modern era and offers all the facilities at its disposal to its students to enhance their knowledge and polish their skills.