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Brief Report on the International Conference

The International Conference on "Emerging Population Issues in the Asia-Pacific Region: Challenges for the 21st Century” was organized as part of the golden jubilee celebrations of International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) during Dec.10-13,2006 at Hotel Grand Hyatt, Mumbai. This was attended by about 500 delegates (one–fourth of them from outside India) and provided an ideal platform for population experts, social scientists, policy makers and researchers to discuss and debate the recent developments in the Asian demographic scenario and their implications for coming decades. Keeping this in mind the plenary, technical and poster sessions were organized by giving enough scope for exchange of differing views and perspectives.

There were five plenary sessions on important themes in which 20 eminent scholars presented their considered views which generated a healthy debate on many contemporary population and health issues. The themes identified for plenary sessions are population and development, gender concerns in health and population, fertility and family planning, managing migration and urbanization, and public health challenges. These sessions were chaired by distinguished persons known for their outstanding contributions to the research and policy making in respective areas.

We have received an overwhelming response to our call for papers – about 1000 abstracts from 39 countries including India. Considering this enthusiastic response and the wide ranging topics of interest, 33 parallel technical sessions and three poster sessions were organized to accommodate quality papers and to give due representation to the countries of Asia-pacific region. As one can see from the conference program, the issues and themes covered in the papers that were presented in the conference go beyond the traditional topics of demographic and health research. There were 170 oral papers and 112 poster presentations included in the conference. The presence of large number of policy makers and representatives from international organizations in the conference, including United Nations agencies, facilitated policy oriented deliberations on many thrust areas. The complete program and the details of each session can be accessed from the conference website (www.iipsindia.in). Two publications - one portraying 50 years of achievements of IIPS and another on the conference abstracts – were brought out for the benefit of the participants. The full papers were also provided to the delegates in a CD.

On the occasion of the golden jubilee, the Institute also felicitated the distinguished scholars and personalities for their outstanding contribution for Indian demography and for the development of IIPS. They are- Shri Ratan Tata (on behalf of Tata family) for the contribution to the establishment and development of IIPS, Prof. K. Srinivasan (significant contribution to the growth and development of IIPS), Prof. Ashish Bose (contribution to the overall development of Indian Demography), Professors John C. Caldwell, K.C .Zachariah, Fred Arnold and Tim Dyson (distinguished achievements in demographic research in the Indian context), and Professors K.V. Ramachandran and T.K.Roy (best teachers of IIPS).

We are now in the process of bringing out two edited volumes comprising of quality papers presented in the conference. In brief, the conference has achieved its set objectives- bringing together scholars from different parts of the world; providing a platform for intellectual discussions and debate; identifying issues for further research and action; much needed exposure to young scholars and Ph.D students; and wider dissemination of research findings not only to academia but also to policy makers, health activists, program managers and public at large.

 

 
 
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The International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), formerly known as Demographic Training and Research Centre, was established at Mumbai in July 1956 to serve as the regional centre for training and research in Population Studies for the countries of Asia and Pacific region.
 
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