Shillong: The Department of Biomedical Engineering, in collaboration with the Department of Education, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong is organising an International Brain Research Organisation (IBRO) APRC Associate School on “Modern Interventional Tools for Children with neurodevelopmental Disorders” from 25th October to 30th October, 2021. The aim of the current IBRO-APRC Associate School 2021 would be to provide participants with extensive knowledge to understand modern interventional tools related to cognitive impairment in children with neuro-developmental disorders and improvements in their functional outcomes and quality of life. The School is being held in close coordination with the Society for Neurochemistry India (SNCI) Satellite meeting scheduled immediately for completion of the IBRO School from 30th October to 1st November, 2021. This School would provide exposure and include hands on training to the participants with the theme “Modern interventional tools to improve cognitive behaviour in children with neurodevelopmental disorders” that would allow them to understand how diseased brain condition could be improved and made to function similar to the normal human brain. This is one of the major facets of neuroscience research which encompasses most of these disorders and it is one of the biggest challenges for survivors. Presently, neuro-modulation techniques are an emerging medical and research field that targets the nervous system to do restoration of functional performance, relief of pain and control of involuntary movements thereby improving neuroplasticity. The key features of this school would be emphasis on open scientific discussion with experts, a hands on laboratory training experience and presentation of the participants through symposia and group meetings during the proposed School. It would lead to a generation of new technical know-how and sharing of research ideas among the participants and experts for the advancement of the field globally.
The participants for this School would be doctoral research scholars, Master’s students, young faculty members, scientists and researchers working in the field from the Asia Pacific region. The School received a large number of applications from participants from different countries in the Asia Pacific region such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Armenia, Nigeria etc. Eminent Speakers from India and abroad will be sharing their knowledge and experience over the week-long event. The Inaugural Ceremony of the School was held on 25.10.2021 in blended mode with opening remarks by Dr. Dinesh Bhatia, Associate Professor and Coordinator, Biomedical Engineering Department, NEHU, Shillong who emphasised on the need for organizing the School, the selection of the participants and the different aspects which would be covered by experts from India and abroad during the week-long programme. He profusely thanked the officials of IBRO and SNCI for the kind support rendered in organising the events. Post felicitation of dignitaries, the School was inaugurated by Prof. P.S. Shukla, Vice Chancellor of NEHU, Shillong as Chief Guest. Prof. Shukla spoke about the impact of modern technology on children with disabilities and how it could be linked to socio-economic factors in the North-Eastern region. He spoke on about the Article-7 and Convention on Rights of the People with Disability (CRPWD) with emphasis on Neuroplasticity, Cognitive Behaviour and Inclusive Education.
Prof. Bibhuti Bhusan Biswal, Director, NITM, who was the Guest of Honour, spoke about the integration of technology with modern day resources to work to improve the lives of people with disabilities. He discussed how to overcome the digital divide and provide education on neuro-developmental disorders to all. Special Invited Guest Dr. Cheah Pike See, Chair, IBRO APRC from Universiti Putra, Malaysia, discussed the scope of the IBRO School and the opportunities available to young budding scientists and researchers seeking funding from the IBRO. She also congratulated Dr. Bhatia and his team for planning and organising a wonderful event along with the Society for Neurochemistry India (SNCI) Satellite meeting. Dr. Sanjay Kumar Mishra, Senior Adviser, Department of Biotechnology, Govt of India and Invited Special Guest spoke about the opportunities available in India for researchers to collaborate and work for people with disabilities. He emphasised the importance of organising such programmes in the country and who it could be linked to policy decision making in the long run. He mentioned on how the Cognitive Science Research Initiative (CSRI) of the Govt. of India concentrated on integrating Medical Sciences, Anthropology, Education, Psychology, Technology, and the advanced disciplines to focus on translational research and general disorders. Prof. Donkupar Syiem, Director, Design Incubation Centre, NEHU, Shillong spoke about the opportunities available in the region and how they could be integrated for societal benefits. He spoke about the status of such disorders at a global level and touched upon learning new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Informatics, Machine Learning, Robotics and Genome Editing. He emphasised the role of Design Incubation and how it could be integrated with the needs of the society. Prof. L. J. Singh, Dean, School of Technology, also shared his views during the event and was happy that a third such event was being organised at the School of Technology funded by IBRO. The Vote of Thanks was presented by Dr. N.A. Reddy from the Department of Education, NEHU, Shillong, who profusely thanked all those involved in making preparations to make the event a grand success and how the ideas generated could be utilised in the long run for the betterment of the institutions and the society at large.