The LSME Annual International Research Conference went online this year due to the restrictions posed by Covid-19, nevertheless received an overwhelming response from researchers around the world. As a goodwill gesture to researchers and the participants who are forced to work from home due to the Covid-19 prevalence around the world, the Conference Committee decided to waive off the registration fees for the Conference. With over 6,000 registering their interest, the Conference Committee had to curtail the number below a thousand to make it effective and meaningful.
The LSME Online International Conference 2020, themed ‘Role of Management, Education and Social Sciences in Responsible Research and Innovations: Challenges and Realities’ was held with an Inaugural, a Valedictory Session and, two Keynote Lectures and one Special Lecture, fourteen Parallel Sessions over 19th and 20th August 2020. The research papers presented on the themes; Education, Business Management, Social Sciences, Pure and Life Sciences, Economics, Mathematical Sciences and Languages under the broad theme of Responsible Research and Innovations (RRI).
The Conference was inaugurated by the Lord Sheikh of the House of Lords, UK and among the Guests of Honour were Lady Sheikh, Ambassador of Nepal, H.E Dr Durga Subedi, Prof Rajan Welukar, Vice Chancellor of Auro University, India, Prof T C A Anant, Former Chief Statistician of India, Dr Peter Gray of NTNU, Norway, Dr Aishath Shehenaz Adam, Deputy Vice Chancellor of National University of Maldives, and Chris Dancer, University of Chichester.
“This Conference is an ideal environment for exchange of ideas and develop productive collaborations between people from all over the world in the field of responsible research and innovations and to discuss relevant challenges and realities” said Lord Sheikh, and also the fact that “the conference was oversubscribed speaks volumes about the credibility of LSME”.
The Chairperson of the Conference, Prof Stephen McKinney of the Glasgow University stressed that one of greatest strength of LSME Conferences, is the inclusion of early career researchers, who are always supported in a collegial and friendly manner; they also bring new ideas, new ways of thinking, new themes and new research. He expressed his confidence like any good academic conference, LSME Online Conference 2020 will create a community of scholars.
While welcoming the Chief Guest, Guests and the participants, the Principal of LSME Dr Sarita Parhi expressed her hope that the “Conference would present a special platform to all the leading academics and researchers present to share their ideas and views on common research issues and challenge all delegates to be responsible in their research, which may in turn inspire new and practicable standards in research”.
The Conference President, Professor Suresh Sharma gave a Special Remarks at the opening session and touched upon the importance RRI concept, which forms the basis of the Conference and highlighted the six pillars of RRI as ethics and research integration, gender equality, governance, open access, public engagement and science education.
The Valedictory Session of the Conference was honoured by the Chief Guest Prof Rajan Welukar, who inspired the participants with his words of wisdom and encouraged them to go back and reflect on whether they have brought any change in the society and have left something for the future generations through their research.
Mayor of Redbridge, Counsellor Zulfiqar Hussain during his Special Remarks commended LSME for creating a unique platform for international researchers to share and discuss their research achievements and challenges and to network and collaborate with each other on the important research agenda of RRI.
Dr Ravi Kumar, Convener of the Conference speaking on ‘Beyond 2020’ invited all the delegates back to the LSME International Research Conference 2021, whether it happens online or with the physical presence of the participants, he assured an exciting and productive gathering. He further informed the delegates that the Conference Proceedings and the Research Book will be published soon.
Those Presenters who received the ‘Best Paper’ awards for their papers at the Parallel Sessions were thrilled and expressed their excitement in receiving such an honour. There were many participants who faced difficulties in their internet connections due to various reasons, who indicated their dismay in not being able to attend the insightful Keynote Lectures, Special Lectures and Paper Presentations. However, most participants informed that they would come back next year, better prepared for another enriching experience.
The Conference was declared a great success by the Conference Chairperson in the closing.