In this Vijayawada college, trees have QR codes

QR codes installed on plants by the Department of Botany at P.B. Siddhartha College of Arts and Science in Vijayawada.

While the world seems to be going digital, people lack the time to read books and process the information they contain. Hence, the Botany Department at PB Siddhartha College of Arts and Sciences has decided to exploit the rapidly growing platform for a unique purpose.

Students on the lush green campus were seen using their phones, not to play games or take selfies, but to scan QR codes hung on the trees for its information.

These codes give students all the information they need to know about the tree — from its scientific name to its medicinal value. They only need to put their smartphones to use. The days of scanning voluminous books seem to be over.

“Students now do not have the time to learn about the things around them via books. To keep up with the digital trend, we collected the database of all the trees in the college and assigned QR codes to them, making it easier for everybody to learn about a plant or a tree at the tip of their fingers,” said Ch. Srinivas Reddy, Head of Department, Botany.

The college has 20 different species of plants on the campus, some of which are not found quite often in the city, said Mr. Reddy, adding that the students and the faculty of the department worked for a month to catalogue the trees and assign them QR codes.

“Any app generating a QR code, which is available for free on the online stores, can be used to avail the information of the trees. We started this as an experiment but the response has been overwhelming. We see a lot of students, teachers and even visitors extracting information about the trees via the QR codes,” said the Head of the Department.

“With the installation of QR codes, gaining knowledge about the trees has become easier as it helps us save time and effort that is required to scan books at the library for the same purpose,” said N. Yamini, a third-year B.Sc. student.

Herbal garden

The department has also built a small herbal garden inside the campus. Tulsi, mustard, aloe vera, spearmint and many other medicinal plants are grown in this area. The main attraction of the garden is the endangered ‘Gyrocarpus Americanus’ plant, also known as Nalla Poniki, an alternative source of wood used to make the world-famous Kondapalli toys.

PB Siddhartha College of Arts and Sciences Director V. Baburao said that the department was looking forward to extend this initiative throughout the city based on the response they have been receiving.

“We plan to install more QR codes across the trees in the city from this summer season. Since the students will be on a vacation, they will be more proactive in carrying forward this initiative into the city,” said Mr. Baburao.

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Printable version | Apr 25, 2022 12:05:12 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/now-even-trees-have-qr-codes/article29938678.ece