The London School of Management Education (LSME) jointly organised an International Conference on the 12th & 13th of August, 2016, with the Panjab University in Chandigarh, India. The theme of the Conference was ‘Managing Responsible Research in the Human Sciences and Information Management’. This International Conference was hosted by Panjab University at its well-known and impressive Conference facilities at the Golden Jubilee Seminar Hall.
Every year, the Panjab University organises an event to commemorate the Annual Day of the A.C. Joshi Library in recognition of its significance in India. This International Conference was the main event for the annual commemoration in August 2016, as the RRI theme was aligned with their agenda to introduce innovative ideas for continuous improvement in academia.
LSME has embarked on organising International Conferences to provide a platform for the presentation, discussion and engagement with scholarly research and the dissemination and impact of the research in local and international society. Moreover, the focus of these Conferences on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), and its Impact will encourage researchers to identify, and to listen to, the users of research and to demonstrate how users’ needs have helped to shape the aims, design and implementation of research projects. This is a shift away from traditional academic conferences which often situate research in the context of research themes and trends without always considering how research impacts on society or how to disseminate the research to a wider audience and consider the practical application of results to serve public good.
The two-day conference was designed to appeal to persons working in management studies, professional education for the health sciences, teacher education as well as social care and research governance. One of the desired aims was to position the Panjab University and LSME as leaders in the implementation of RRI in India, and internationally. Another desired aim was to enable staff, students and external stakeholders to work together for a more responsible future in research and innovation.
The Conference attracted 180 delegates from over 80 institutions from India and overseas. Over 200 research papers were received and 110 papers were shortlisted for presentation over the four parallel sessions each day. Six prominent VIPs were present at the opening ceremony. Insightful and educative opening remarks were delivered by Professor Arun Kumar Glover, the Vice Chancellor of the Panjab University who was the Chief Guest, Professor R L Raina, the Vice Chancellor of JK Lakshmipat University in Jaipur (India) who was the Guest of Honour and Professor Mohan Agase, a renowned Psychiatrist and a Director of Films and Television in India, who was the Special Guest on this auspicious occasion. The welcome address was delivered by Dr Raj Kumar, the Organising Secretary for this Conference. The delegates were also addressed by Professor Stephen McKinney of the University of Glasgow and the Chairman of the Conference Committee, Professor Suresh Sharma of Panjab University, Dr Ravi Kumar, the Executive Director of LSME and Conference Convener and Dr Peter Gray, Advisor on European Research Projects in Norway.
The two-day Conference attracted presentations on a wide variety of topics, from accounting to women’s rights. This was entirely in line with the spirit of the LSME’s approach to RRI, which is to bring different researchers together to discuss the detailed content of common themes. The papers collectively provided the opportunity for critical reflection on themes such as:
• Poverty and underachievement
• Social justice and gender equality
• Role of Banking, finance and debt management
• Job satisfaction and human resources
• Relationship between Corporate Social Responsibility and Responsible Research
• Knowledge management and role of libraries
The highlight of the presentations were special addresses by Canadian and British RRI practitioners and a policy briefing session to introduce the concept of RRI and workshops for postgraduate students. These themes, and the contributions from presenters, provide a powerful framework for future RRI initiatives based around Panjab University, its associated universities, colleges and commercial partners, and the Chandigarh Region Innovation & Knowledge Cluster (CRIKC).
Two illustrious academicians presented the valedictory speeches on the closing day. They were Professor O.P. Katare, Dean – Research Promotion Cell of the Panjab University and Professor S.K. Chadha, Director – Central Placement Cell and Chairperson of the Business School of Panjab University. This session presented the opportunity to summarise the key themes and future follow-up actions which could provide a roadmap for RRI in the Chandigarh region and foster collaborative arrangements between LSME and Panjab University. This will help build an expanding base for advancing research practice and policy in India, LSME and beyond.
This event showcased LSME’s ability to work closely with international institutions and attract external RRI expertise. As a result, a number of other representatives of various institutions who were present at the Conference have approached LSME to hold discussions to explore future opportunities for collaborative RRI events.