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|NI FEATURE: TIMELESS REVERBERATIONS - COMMENTARY
|Year : 2019 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 353-355
Neurological Society of India Annual Conference at Pune, December 1977
Madakasira Bheemarao Pranesh
Department of Neurology, PSG Institute of Medical Science and Research, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
|Date of Web Publication||13-May-2019|
Dr. Madakasira Bheemarao Pranesh
Ananda Nilaya, 11, 5th Street, Tatabad, Coimbatore - 641 012, Tamil Nadu
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Pranesh MB. Neurological Society of India Annual Conference at Pune, December 1977. Neurol India 2019;67:353-5
The 27th National Conference of Neurological Society of India (NSI) was held between December 14th and 17th, 1977 at the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune. The conference began on 13th December with a continuing medical education (CME) program. This was the first CME to be organized by NSI—thanks to Prof. Baldev Singh and Prof. S. Kalyanaraman [Figure 1]. Most of us had come from various parts of India and quite a few Indians had come from other countries. The total attendance must have been around 150, including postgraduate registrars from various centers and young Indians who were in UK, USA, and Canada. Prof. Baldev Singh and Prof S. Kalyanaraman were in the lecture hall by 7 am itself. The weather was cool and beautiful and Pune city in those days was thinly populated, with large clean roads, full of green trees and lovely large houses, some with wooden fencing. It was an enjoyable bus ride from the hotel inside the city to AFMC, which was on the outskirts. There were about 20 presentations. The speakers' list and the subjects presented are given in a separate table. There was no time limit for the presentations or for the discussions, as both the chairpersons felt that we had gathered at the CME to learn well and to discuss well. This was simply wonderful and we had a real cerebral feast. The surroundings were clean and modest, typical of middle class family surroundings. Dr. Vimala Virmani was the opening batsman, talking on problems in diagnosis. The subjects ranged from assessment of coma or tuberculous meningitis to postoperative complications. There were a number of short tea breaks and the last one was at 9 pm, and the last lecture was over by 11 pm! This was followed by a simple nice dinner. The presentations (slide presentations) were of a very high quality and the discussions were in depth, constructive, and friendly. The whole atmosphere was one of great joy. We could not adequately thank the speakers and the graceful chairpersons. Every one of us felt grateful to NSI for helping us in learning well. More than 90% of us had travelled by train to Pune and were staying in the most modest hotels with average comforts. All the lectures had been cyclostyled and were given a few days in advance by Prof. Kalyanaraman. During the train journey from Madras to Pune, we were able to go through the papers to be mentally able to understand well and take part in the discussions.
The scientific sessions began on December 14th morning at the Bharadwaj Auditorium. Prof KV Mathai, the President, talked on brain tumors, followed by the Chandy oration on neurochemistry by Prof BK Bachhawat. The rest of the day was spent with presentation of free papers followed by some official administrative meetings. On December 15th from 8 am to 12 noon, a symposium on tuberculosis of the central nervous system (CNS) was held. It was an appropriate topic as CNS tuberculosis was the commonest cause of admissions in the neurology wards. Many medical and surgical topics were discussed. The evenings were kept free for get-togethers and sightseeing. The scientific papers went on until 17th December afternoon. A total of 102 presentations were made much to the joy of all the delegates [Figure 2]. On December 15th morning, General TN Raina, Chief of the Indian army inaugurated the conference and had tea with all of us. He was accompanied by the NSI president, Prof. KV Mathai and it was a beautiful morning on the lawns of AFMC.
A group photograph was taken on the December 16th evening. You may find all the members of NSI in that group photograph [Figure 3]. On December 16th evening, we had a Bharatanatyam dance recital by Smt. SSK Iyer, wife of Lt. Col. SSK Iyer. Even on the last day morning, that is on December 17th, almost all the delegates were present. The interest for the papers did not wane, even by 2 pm on that day.
The organizing committee and the managing committee had not spared even one bit of effort to make the conference a great success. Also, full credit goes to the staff and students of AFMC, who gave us unlimited care and kindness. The senior officers of AFMC and BJ Medical College took personal interest in making all the arrangements.
The highlights of the conference were the high quality of the papers and discussions, for which an adequate time had been alloted, and an atmosphere of friendship and comradery prevailed [Figure 4] and [Figure 5]. All of us felt proud to be an NSI member and we looked forward to the next year's conference. The whole conference had no big sponsors; we all supported ourselves, with our meagre salary in government service. The organizers were very generous. A copy of the abstract and CME program has been gifted to the archives of NSI. A copy of the group photograph has also been submitted to the archive.
|Figure 4: Photograph taken in the Music Academy, Madras, on 30.1.2000 at the release of Prof B. Ramamurthi's autobiography. He is signing a copy of the book to the author. Prof Indira Ramamurthi is in the center|
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For me, personally, it was the first NSI conference that I had attended. I was to write the exams in April 1978 and thus become a full member of NSI. Most of us came with our families and the ladies and children added joy and color to the conference. Personally, for me, visiting Pune after a long time was a sentimental journey, as it was my paternal ancestor's place, and more so, because the first clarion call for independence came from Pune from that great saint, scholar and patriot, Shri Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
This “Pune-NSI 1977” conference will forever be etched in my memory.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5]