Jain (Deemed-to-be University) organized its 2016 Research Retreat for its doctoral scholars and research guides on 21-22 May 2016. The Retreat attracted close to 350 researchers at Jain (Deemed-to-be University) and provided a platform to discuss the progress of their research work and also dialogue with eminent researchers from different domains.
The Retreat was inaugurated by Dr. N. Sundararajan, Vice Chancellor, Jain (Deemed-to-be University). In his address, he stressed on the fact that the tradition of holding a Research Retreat was one of the best practices of Jain (Deemed-to-be University). He appealed to the Researchers to focus on innovation and pledged all support from the University for carrying forward the quality Research.
The Retreat had three General Plenary Sessions in which experts dialogued with researchers on a range of themes. Dr. Gopa Kumar, the Vice Chancellor, Central University of Kerala spoke on, "The Blurring of Boundaries: The Focus on Inter-Disciplinary Research". In this age of specialization and super-specialization, he encouraged scholars to also develop an inter-disciplinary approach and gave numerous examples of cutting edge research which was not linked to any specific discipline domain. Dr. Choodamani Nandagopal, Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences chaired the session and highlighted the efforts at Jain (Deemed-to-be University) to foster interdisciplinary research.
The second General Plenary was addressed by Dr. Dwarakadasa, CEO and MD, Karnataka Hybrid Micro Devices Ltd., who spoke on "Pursuit of Research as a Passion". Drawing a range of examples from his five decades long research experience, Dr. Dwarakadasa emphasized how the inner motivation was what drove researchers to produce quality research. He drew attention to how the research journey was as important and vital as the final destination. Dr. Mithileshwar Jha, Pro Vice Chancellor, Jain (Deemed-to-be University) chaired the session and underscored the importance of developing the right research environment which included a "Dose of Irreverence" even as one respected the best traditions of the "Guru-Shishya Parampara".
The Third Plenary was addressed by Dr. K.R.S.Murthy, the former Director of IIM, Bengaluru who spoke on "Industry – Academic Interface". He drew attention to the need for research institutions to collaborate with industry to be able to make their research meaningful and action-oriented. Dr. Jayagopal Uchil, Director of Academic and Planning, Jain (Deemed-to-be University) chaired the session and outlined strategies which industry could follow to align with research institutions.
The Retreat also had four Faculty Plenary sessions. In Engineering, Mr. T.D. Prakash, Founder and MD, ELOGIC Technologies had an engaging discussion with the participants on IOT (Internet of Things) and Industry 4.0. Dr. Krishna Venkatesh, Director CET, Jain (Deemed-to-be University) chaired the session. The Science Plenary was addressed by Dr. V. Nagaraja, President, JNCASR and Professor and Head of the Molecular Biology Department, Indian Institute of Science, on the emerging theme, "Co-Evolutionary Arms Race between Bacteria and their Viruses".
Dr. Dhananjaya of CET, Jain (Deemed-to-be University) chaired the session. In Management, Mr. S. Srinivasan, CEO, SNN Builders Pvt. Ltd spoke on "Changing the Rules: How Disruption Helped Brands Overturn Conventions in the Market place". Prof. N.V.H Krishnan, Registrar of Jain (Deemed-to-be University) chaired the Session. The Faculty Plenary for Social Sciences and Languages was addressed by Dr. Sangeetha Menon, Professor, NIAS on the theme, "Beyond Disciplinary Limits: The Case of Consciousness Studies & Interdisciplinary Debates". Dr. Shailaja Shastri, Professor and Head of the Department of Psychology chaired this Session.
The Research Retreat also had 23 Concurrent Sessions in which Doctoral Students presented before a Panel of Experts the progress in their Ph.D. work. They got useful feedback from the Panel of experts. The University gave a best presentation award for those who presented in the 23 different sessions.
A highlight of this times Retreat was the 18 concurrent Workshops that were organized on a range of themes. The Workshops were offered by Jain (Deemed-to-be University) Faculty and participants were permitted to choose a theme of their choice. In smaller groups, the participants got an opportunity to dialogue with experts on a theme of their interest.
The Valedictory Address at the Retreat was delivered by Ms. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director of Biocon Ltd. She spoke on the theme "The Virtuous Cycle of Innovation". In a scintillating address, she held her audience spellbound, she drew examples from her professional research journey and appealed to researchers to patent their ideas with a focus on innovation. Tracing the origins of Biocon, she highlighted the importance of constantly findings ways of re-inventing oneself and thinking ahead of the times. She also gave the Certificates of Merit to the Best Presentations and honored the 50th Ph.D. recipient of Jain (Deemed-to-be University), Dr. V.C. Sowrirajan.