Jain (Deemed-to-be University) hosted the two-day Annual Research Retreat 2018 on November 17 and 18, 2018. The event saw participation of 250 doctoral students and 76 doctoral guides, who discussed and presented the challenges and current trends in the field of research.
The first leg of the two-day event began with the inaugural address by Dr. Chenraj Roychand, President, Jain University Trust. He congratulated the scholars for their achievement and said, “We (JAIN) create an ecosystem for them (scholars) to get the energy and within the available support system and framework, we are able to keep them motivated. So dropouts are less. In India, we come up with ideas but when it comes to putting it into action, we falter. I’ve always felt the best is yet to come.” Dr. CG Krishnadas Nair, Chancellor of JAIN and Dr. Sandeep Shastri and Dr. Mithileshwar Jha, Pro Vice Chancellors of JAIN, also graced the occasion.
The Chancellor emphasised on the importance of choosing the right subjects for research and presenting good quality work rather than looking at it as a mere degree. “Unless PhD is really of high quality, they will not be able to inspire others to do interesting and useful work. Therefore, while we need to increase the number of those interested in doing their PhDs, we also need to ensure the work is useful to nation building, help in the creation of knowledge. Topics must be chosen, the quality of the research work must be excellent,” he said.
The Research Retreat offered researchers an opportunity to learn about emerging opportunities in different fields. The inauguration was followed by three plenary sessions that discussed a range of critical issues in the area of research. The panel discussions on specific subjects were led by notable dignitaries. ‘Blue Economy’ was the topic for the first plenary session led by Dr. Shailesh Naik, Director, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS). He threw light on the topic, which encourages better stewardship of our ocean or ‘blue’ resources. Dr. Naik drew attention on the importance of using ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs.
The second plenary session focused on due diligence in research. Dr. Anup Pujari, Chairman, Karnataka Skill Development Authority made the session interesting with his presentation. It is important to conduct due diligence in research and cross-check the information one has, with other sources. Dr. NV Varghese, Vice-Chancellor, National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA) spoke at the third plenary session. He focused on research in higher education and its implications on policy making.
Apart from the plenary sessions, the programme also featured discussions on subjects such as Science, Engineering, Social Sciences and Management. The session on Science was led by Geetha Bali, a leading Biotechnology researcher and former Vice Chancellor of Karnataka State Women’s University. She talked about the challenges in the domain of Science while doing research.
Dr. SY Kulkarni, Vice Chancellor, Reva University dwelled on the current trends in Engineering research. Dr. Cherian Alexander, a leading English professor, led the session on Social Science and Humanities.
The event was designed with the aim of providing a platform to PhD students to demonstrate progress in their research works. The doctoral students presented their work in progress at 25 concurrent subject-specific sessions on both the days, which was reviewed by expert panels. The experts gave scholars feedback on their work and at the end of the programme, the doctoral students outlined their research map for the coming year.