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CSIR Introduces ‘Namoh 108’: A New Lotus Species Honoring PM Modi’s Legacy

In a significant tribute to the tireless efforts and remarkable leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has introduced a new lotus species called ‘Namoh 108’. This unveiling took place during a special event at the CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) in Lucknow. The lotus, which boasts an astonishing 108 petals, was discovered several years ago in the region of Manipur and has since been part of the institute’s collection of flora under study.

The Symbolism of ‘Namoh 108’:

  • The lotus variety ‘Namoh 108’ stands out due to its unique attribute of having precisely 108 petals.
  • The number 108 holds great religious significance in Hinduism, lending an additional layer of importance to this new lotus variety.

Discovery and Evolution:

  • Discovered years ago in Manipur, the lotus variety remained unnoticed until a scientist revealed its remarkable petal count four years ago.
  • Inspired by the revelation, CSIR-NBRI conducted an in-depth study of the lotus, including the sequencing of its genome. This marked the first instance of sequencing for any lotus variety in India.
  • Despite being initially ordinary in appearance, the lotus was selected for further study due to its newfound significance.

A Remarkable Offering:

  • The introduction of ‘Namoh 108’ was described by Science Minister Jitendra Singh as a “grand gift” to Prime Minister Modi. This gesture is a celebration of the Prime Minister’s relentless dedication and the natural beauty embodied by the lotus.
  • The variety’s name, ‘Namoh,’ was inspired by the phrase “Om Namaha Vasudeva,” signifying salutations in Sanskrit.

Beyond Appearance:

  • While the lotus variety might appear ordinary compared to other types, it is distinguished by its 108 petals, an attribute that differentiates it from other Indian lotus species.
  • ‘Namoh 108’ is the only lotus variety in India to have its genome sequenced. This unique achievement sets it apart on the global stage, with the only other sequenced lotus variety hailing from China and being distinctly different.

Future Prospects:

  • ‘Namoh 108’ has undergone extensive cloning and modification, enabling it to be cultivated more easily outside of its native Manipur.
  • Plans are underway to register ‘Namoh 108’ as the official lotus variety of India, given its status as the national flower.
  • The introduction of ‘Namoh 108’ has inspired the development of an entire industrial and entrepreneurial ecosystem around this distinctive lotus variety.

A Blossoming Future:

  • CSIR-NBRI will launch a ‘Lotus Mission’ as part of a broader horticultural initiative aimed at promoting the growth of ‘Namoh 108’ lotus flowers across various regions of India.
  • The variety’s significance and its embodiment of Indian values make it a fitting tribute to the country’s heritage and culture.

Innovations and Dedication:

  • Science Minister Jitendra Singh unveiled not only the ‘Namoh 108’ lotus variety but also innovative products derived from it. These include apparel made from the unique fibers of the lotus and a perfume named ‘Frotus.’
  • The choice of ‘Namoh’ as the lotus variety’s name was not initially linked to Prime Minister Modi, but the Science Minister’s dedication and recognition forged this connection, further enhancing the honor.

One Week One Lab Initiative:

  • The introduction of ‘Namoh 108’ was part of CSIR’s ‘One Week One Lab’ initiative, showcasing each lab’s history and scientific accomplishments.
  • Director General of CSIR, N. Kalaiselvi, joined Science Minister Jitendra Singh in celebrating this significant milestone at the CSIR-NBRI event.

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