Annual Conference of The
Indian Rheumatology Association
Puduchery | 5-8 December

IRA President's Message

From the President, Indian Rheumatology Association (IRA)

Bonjour Madame, Mademoiselle, Monsieur, Meschersamis

This year, the scientific extravaganza of Indian RheumatologyAssociation (IRA)is at Puducherry (meaning ‘new city’), the erstwhile Pondicherry on the Coromandel coast of India.

Few words about Puducherry : A former French colony that joined India in 1956, a decade later than the year of India’s independence. Famous for Sree Aurobindo Ashram, Auroville also known as the international city of dawn, beaches and above all, India’s premiere medical school JIPMER designated as Centre of excellence by Government of India. As an alumnus of JIPMER and as the editor of the silver jubilee magazine of JIPMER,I have nostalgic memories of JIPMER days to share with you and wish to see this meeting anespecially grand event, of course, with your active participation.

About JIPMER : JIPMER originated from the almost 200 year old French medical school called ‘EcoledeMedicinedePondicherry’. The original building now houses the Puducherry legislative assembly. JIPMER campus is housed 6 km from the city at Gorimedu since 1956 and the township is called DhanvantariNagar. The lecture theatres namely Lister theatre, Bernard theatre, Pasteur theatre and Hunter theatre were ‘state of the art’ in those days too. The old auditorium, then called Banting hall is replaced with a modern one. Beauty of the campus with various parks in the campus likeHygeapark, Vesalius square, Thinker’s park, smart hostels namely the Lister house, Osler house, Curie house, Aschoff house, Harvey house and Nightingale house with all the facilities were unmatched in the whole nation. Classic paintings all over the hospital building and the cosmopolitan campus culture with students from all over the country and many international students kept it always vibrant. Cultural, academic, literary and social activities were great and top ranking to my memory with great teachers in all specialities.

Both JIPMER and Puducherry have grown by leaps and bounds and much of its original beauties are replaced by concrete jungles of late, but the city still continues to be India’s top tourist destination.

Highlights of IRACON 2019 at JIPMER : It is being organized by my longterm friend Prof VS Negi and he will ensure a great event there in terms of science, ambience, food, entertainment, hospitality and tourism. The silent work by Dr. Chengappa, the determined and trusted disciple of Dr. Negi and the scientific chair General (Prof.) Ved Chaturvedi are keeping hawk’s eye on the whole program. Also, the help rendered by the Dean, Dr. RP Swaminathan (who was my senior resident during my internship in Medicine) as the President of the Pondicherry chapter of IRA is of paramount importance. Last but not the least, having Professor Rakesh Agarwal, the Director of JIPMER as the patron of the meeting is of special advantage to IRA with reasons known to all IRA members.

There will be lot more workshops on current trends, refresher course, maiden “ACR-EULAR-APLAR” symposium and we will serve you lot more scientific delicacies in IRACON 2019. The first convocation of Indian college of Rheumatology is being meticulously planned by the first Dean Prof Rohini Handa and his College council team including the Dean designate Prof Ramnath Misra. Deserving senior Rheumatologists will be honoured with Fellowship. For the first time, IRA will also honour unanimously chosen, select leading rheumatologists with “Masters of IRA” awards.

The preconference patient conclave started from last IRACON 2018 will continue this year too and is being organized again by the chair of the IRA patient cell Dr. KM Mahendranath. We expect around 100 patients and their relatives to take part.

We also aim to release the IRA consensus statements/guidelines for common rheumatological diseases by the various special interest groups during this meeting.

A voluntary Code of Ethics and legality for IRA members will also be released in this meeting. We are also hoping to launch a South Asian rheumatology forum involving SAARC nations to improve scientific and educational collaborations in the subcontinent.

Various other cells of IRA namely research cell, education cell, young rheumatologists’ cell, primary care rheumatology cell, intersociety cell, media and communication cell, database cell will showcase their activities in this meeting apart from regular events of the IRACON. Above all, please enjoy your stay, sightseeing and travel with your colleagues, students and families, apart from strengthening and enriching the core scientific program by your active participation.

Stay safe. Travel safe.
See you at JIPMER, Puducherry.
Thanking you
on se voitlà-bas
Bon voyage

Debashish Danda MD, DM, FRCP, FAMS
President, Indian Rheumatology Association.
President Elect, Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology (APLAR).
Immediate past Editor in Chief (2012-2018), International journal of Rheumatic diseases (IJRD).
Founder, Immediate past chair and Professor, Clinical Immunology & Rheumatology, CMC Vellore.