Written by: Dr Srikrishna Chalasani
President, Indian Orthodontic Society, IOS
Executive Committee Member, APOS
‘An event is not over until everyone is tired of talking about it’. It surely implies to the 55th Indian Orthodontic Conference, IOC. The event was organised by the Punjab orthodontic study Group (POSG) on behalf of the Indian orthodontic Society (IOS). This landmark event goes into the history as the first ever annual conference of IOS held virtually from 24th to 26th September 2021. What was originally planned as a regular physical conference was later changed into a virtual conference considering the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
‘Smiles 2021 and beyond - a prism of opportunities' -the theme of the conference was phrased futuristically with an idea to reach out to global orthodontic fraternity and industry partners paving way for mutual sharing of insights into the recent/future research and cutting-edge technologies in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopaedics.
The logo of the conference was designed with the theme of the event in mind. It depicted the essential components of orthodontics that are involved in creating beautiful smiles that lasts a lifetime. The golden dome in the logo depicts the golden foil covered sanctum centre of Sri Harmandar Sahib also commonly known as the Golden Temple, a gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab ,India.
The conference was very well attended by 1800 registered delegates. All the scientific activities were handled by the Scientific committee from the Operative venue of Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Dental Sciences and Research, Amritsar. The event started as early as 8:00 am with parallel sessions running simultaneously in five virtual halls, aptly named after the five famous rivers of Punjab. The rich and extensive scientific content of the event comprised of 3 orations, 32 keynote lectures (National & International), 44 Guest lectures and 60 lectures from young orthodontists aptly named as rising stars. In addition, there were around 150 competitive presentations by IOS members in the form of scientific papers, posters, and table clinic presentations. Even the student members of IOS were involved in poster presentation on the theme of “Orthodontic Public awareness”.
The Highlight of Day 1 (24th Sep) was the IOS oration delivered by Dr. M K Prakash and chaired by the then IOS President Dr. Silju Mathew.
Though the conference was virtual, the inaugural ceremony of the 55th IOC Amritsar was held physically at 5pm day 1 at Hotel Radisson Blu, Amritsar. The Chief Guest for the inauguration ceremony was Mr. Gurjeet Singh Aujla (Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha Amritsar), Guest of honour was Prof. (Dr) Jaspal Singh Sandhu (Vice Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar)
After the brainstorming scientific sessions, the evening was set for the Presidential Cultural evening. The online cultural event was filled with fascinating entertainment, the highlight being a performance by a ‘Star Bollywood’ singer, Mr.Anoop Sankar.
On Day 3 of the event, the Dr Surendra Shetty Oration was delivered by Dr. Ahkter Hussain and chaired by the IOS President elect Dr. Srikrishna Chalasani. During the 3 days, participants had the opportunity to choose among various sessions to listen too. Each session varied from 90 min to 120 min and had structured process of brainstorming and information exchange. For the benefits of registered delegates all recording of the sessions are available on streaming platform for one month.
To savor the last day, a valedictory function was held at Radisson Blu which brings an end to one society year. It was attended by reputable and eminent personalities of the IOS apart from the functionaries and Office bearers.
The function was pioneered by Dr. Silju Mathew who enlightened the audience and members across the country watching virtually with his golden words. He thanked one and all, whose efforts went behind organizing this conference. The event also included prize distribution to winners of poster and paper presentations. As per tradition of change of guard of Office, Dr Srikrishna Chalasani took over charge as the President of IOS from Dr Silju Mathew.