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Dear Members,


I hope you are doing well in your respective working area and preparing to attend XXXVI congress of our association at Delhi in large numbers. I am happy to know that nearly 900 delegates have already registered for the conference. Prof. Renu Dutta and Prof B L Sherwal have arranged a very high quality academic feast. I request you to register at the earliest if you have not done so already.

 

During the nine months as president, I have realized few things, which I like to share with you frankly. At the beginning I apologize to any person who may be hurt by my plain speaking.

 

  1. Our executive council is visible only during annual congress. Of course our journal body is exception. They are working hard throughout the year to improve the quality of our journal. I salute them for this endeavor. Otherwise, the executive council has hardly any scope to perform beyond publishing four newsletters. The statutory bodies of Government of India hardly recognize our association. While I compare our association with American Society for Microbiology or Infectious Disease Society of America or any other European societies in our discipline, I feel we are still in a nascent form though we have crossed 35 long years since formation our association. At present I am working actively as a member of Fungal Infection Study Group formulating management policies for mucormycosis under European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. However as an association, we never get such opportunity to formulate national policies on infectious diseases. To make ourselves visible we need continuous activities under our association banner. Lack of funding in our association impairs the initiative to improve our functioning. Dr. Abhay Chowdhary and Dr. V Ravi, our two immediate past-presidents, worked hard for corporate membership in our association, but there are few takers. I sincerely feel that all of us should think over it seriously and take sincere initiative. I thank again the Kolkata IAMM conference organizers for donating substantially to our association. But it is a small drop in the vast ocean of our requirement.
  2. I sincerely tried to improve the MCI recommendation for faculty strength and teaching hours in our discipline. Prof. K K Talwar, Chairman, MCI gave me patient hearing and supported our proposal. The proposal is being examined by a committee constituted by Prof. Talwar. But I know it would be difficult to get any favorable response, as powerful lobby works behind the scene and obstructs any attempt to increase faculty strength in any discipline. I realize now it is a long drawn battle where we have to put consistent pressure on MCI to get our reasonable due. Hope we shall be able to do so some time in future.
  3. I tried for a country-wise drive for accreditation of microbiology laboratories. Sadly, there are very few volunteers and less than 1% of our laboratories are accreditated. Large Institutes in government sector are completely silent on this issue. Unless the government makes accreditation of laboratories mandatory, very little can be done by us. Any suggestion or advice from you in this issue will be appreciated.

In this gloomy scenario, I find a silver lining in chapter meetings. Certainly some of our chapters are performing very well and draw lot of young enthusiastic doctors, scientists in our fold. I congratulate them all. I wish we could play with same enthusiasm at our national level. Few days back I attended Second Annual Conference of Clinical Infectious Disease Society at Chennai. Consciously we participated in the conference under our association banner after a discussion in the council. I have seen many of you also attended the said meeting. I am sure you will agree with me that the conference was superb in academic feast. I wish our association develops long association with such academic body. I am sure working together will help both bodies to flourish.

I am an optimist and sincerely hope that my plain speaking will provoke you to come forward with constructive criticisms and valuable suggestions.

See you at Delhi in large number during November 22-25, 2012 With warm regards and best wishes

(Arunaloke Chakrabarti)