The sixty-third convocation of the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Deemed to be University, Mumbai was held on Friday, June 3rd, 2022. Prof. K. S. James, Director IIPS, presented the activities and achievements of the Institute for the year 2021-22. Institute offers four regular programmes- Ph.D., MPS, MSc (Biostatistics & Demography) and MA/M.Sc. (Population Studies), two masters programme through distance learning, and two diploma courses of Ntaional Institute of Public Health Training and Research, Mumbai. This year, in total 255 students are awarded degrees/diplomas. Excellence in research and academic work of students were also appreciated, and they were awarded gold and silver medals for their achievements.
Prof. Balram Bhargava, Secretary, Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India and Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research presided over the function. Prof. Bhargava, in his presidential addres, while congratulating the students receiving degree, diplomas and medals, and appealed to them to use the high-quality education, training and research received from the Institute of its maximum potential in the service of the people.
He complemented the contribution of IIPS in training population scientists and evidence based population research in the country since 1956. Prof. Bhargava emphasized that various population parameters have improved in the country in the recent time as shown by the recent national family and health survey (2019-21), however, emerging non-communicable diseases like covid-19 are becoming challenge in the nesar future. Thus, more and more high quality research needed in these areas as well as mapping their differentials by gender, social and regional disparities for the national planning and policy formation.
Dr. K. Vijay Raghavan, Former Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India & Emeritus Professor, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru delivered the convocation address. He congratulated the students and medal winners in the convocation. He appreacited IIPS and its role for development and monitoring various government programmes in health and social sectors.
Dr. Raghavan spoke about how to deal with today’s problem faced by human population in the world. He highlighted the problems of biodiversity degradation, climate change, differentials in high quality education and labour force participation, diseases, wars and the huge developmental gaps between rich and poor countries. Thus, having access to higeh quality research, training and education can mitigate these challeges in our country and globally. He advised that knowledge, research and training available at intituttion like IITs, AIIMSs, and IIPS should not limited their campus but must reach to colleges and universities located in remotest areas of the country. This only can solve today’s problem and the unknown problems that may come tomorrow.