The burden of tobacco-related illnesses is high in India, with about 1.35 million people dying each year. Despite comprehensive tobacco control laws and policies, implementation is varied among Indian states. The Anushthana project organized two regional consultations—held online and in-person in Raipur, Chhattisgarh—in association with the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union). The consultations brought together government officials from health, food safety, police and relevant departments, independent researchers, and members from civil society organizations from 18 states and union territories who are working in the field of tobacco control and public health.
The purpose of the regional consultations were to
Discuss state-specific tobacco control implementation strategies
Cross-pollinate ideas and facilitate research and practice collaborations in tobacco control
Promote leadership and highlight a set of best practices in tobacco control.
Tobacco kills over one million adults in a high-burden country like India each year. Despite a comprehensive tobacco control law – the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003, implementation remains varied across Indian states due to several contextual factors. The Anushthana team members (Dr. Pragati Hebbar, Vivek Dsouza, Praveen Rao S, and Kumaran P) of the Chronic Conditions and Public Policies cluster at IPH visited three Indian states i.e. West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, and Kerala during the months of November and December 2021. The objective of the field visit was to understand local contexts and on-ground implementation successes and challenges in the field of tobacco control. The team undertook field observations in three districts of each state focussing on the implementation of COTPA sections 4, 5, 6, and 7. Simultaneously, the team met relevant stakeholders to understand their views on tobacco control policy implementation.
To aid the data collection, the team worked with Julee Jerang (IPH field consultant in Arunachal Pradesh) and MANT (a non-profit public health organisation in West Bengal). The field visit is part of a five-year research fellowship awarded to Dr. Pragati Hebbar and is funded by the DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance.
We are organising a workshop of “ Workshop on research management in public health research organisations” on 12th January 2022 from 2.00 to 5.00 PM.
What is Research Management? All the support activities are undertaken in assisting the PI/researcher that helps take off the certain administrative burdens on the researchers. It includes all the processes from proposal submission to project closure.
Rationale behind Research Management Research Management is an important aspect in public health research organisations. Most of the processes from proposal writing till the project closure are carried out by the researchers with the help of a few support staff. This burdens the researchers and a lot of the productive time is lost in these administrative activities.
The role of the Research Manager is defined here wherein all such activities are taken up by the Research Managers and thus researchers could actively focus on the research activities.
Role of India Research Management Initiative (IRMI) The India Research Management Initiative (IRMI) of India Alliance aims to strengthen research ecosystems in India by building capacity for research management and creating a community of practice that supports knowledge creation and innovation for addressing global challenges.
They support the Research Managers through Research Management Grants, travel grants, and fellowship grants. The current workshop is also supported under such as IRMI initiative at the IPH, Bengaluru
Objectives of the Workshop The objective of this workshop is that the Research Managers across the public health research organisations come together and share their practices and processes and put forward their thoughts that could facilitate peer learning.
We hope this workshop will strengthen our collaborative efforts and help us to work together and improve research management practices at the participating institutes.
Workshop Details The workshop shall be a blended model and participants are welcome to join online and offline at the Institute of Public Health, Bengaluru. All the COVID Appropriate Behavior shall be followed.
The workshop includes presentations by Research Managers among the public health research Institutes on the topic “Research Management practices at the Institute, Challenges faced and measures are taken to overcome the challenges” and talk by experts Dr. Varadarajan who is pursuing research on mental health amongst tribal youth and Dr. Malini Pillai, Grants Adviser at National Centre for Biological Sciences-TIFR, Bangalore.
About the workshop: Ph.D. students in their journey are not only expected to equip themselves with the necessary skills and competency but also navigate through a demanding doctoral process. The lonely nature of the Ph.D. also prevents them from meeting their peers and interacting with them. Conferences, symposiums are such platforms where Ph.D. scholars get an opportunity to meet each other and build a network. However, considering the dominance of technical sessions within such platforms, it becomes difficult to engage and network with like-minded people closely. Thus, the aim of this workshop is to provide a platform that facilitates interaction among Ph.D. and aspiring Ph.D. students and stimulates learning from peers and experienced researchers.
This workshop is an amalgamation of technical sessions and informal conversations and would be conducted in a hybrid format with virtual and in-person sessions (if covid permits). The workshop will use interactive methods and activities to open up conservations among students not only related to the research process but also on their experience of traversing through the Ph.D. terrain. This is the first workshop of its kind at the Institute of Public Health, Bengaluru. We hope to organize this workshop on an annual basis.
What will the workshop offer to the participants?
1. Improve their scientific writing, and presentation skills and learn how to communicate their findings to a larger audience including fellow researchers, policymakers, and layperson 2. Build their reviewing skills and learn how to review a paper 3. Opportunity to network with their peers and boost their networking skills for conferences 4. Learn how to handle various challenges while traversing through the Ph.D. terrain 5. Gain an understanding of the scope and direction after Ph.D.
Who can apply? The applicant must fulfill any of the below criteria to be eligible for applying for the workshop- Ph.D. student at the Institute of Public Health (IPH), Bengaluru – Associated with IPH in any capacity and have an aspiration to pursue a Ph.D. – Associated with any of the partner organizations of IPH and having an aspiration to pursue a Ph.D. or currently pursuing a Ph.D.
The total number of participants: We would like to restrict the number of participants to 20 only for a fruitful engagement. If there are more than 20 applications, we would select participants on a first come first serve basis. The preference will be given to currently pursuing Ph.D. students.
Fees details The fee for the workshop is Rs.10,000/- (including GST) INR. The fee will cover accommodation (if needed), training costs, food, and workshop materials. A partial or full waiver will be awarded to deserving candidates. Kindly indicate if you need a scholarship in the application form and we will send you the scholarship form. Please note that we have a limited number of scholarships. Hence, we request you to apply if and only if it is necessary.
The Institute of Public Health (IPH), Bengaluru celebrated IPH Annual Day- 2021, marking the completion of 16 years on September 3, 2021. The annual day was attended by many collaborators, adjunct faculty, honorary associates, ex-employees, well-wishers, staff, and others who made it a successful virtual-Annual Day-2021 for us.
The annual day began with an introduction to IPH and its work during the COVID-19 pandemic and how we adapted to the new normal. Over the last year, researchers at IPH participated in 10 conferences, attended 11 courses, were part of 11 teaching engagements, 12 oral presentations, published 14 peer-reviewed scientific publications and several blogs, and conducted 3 webinars and 7 training sessions.
In the education domain of our institute, we trained 20 students in e-Public Health Management course, 57 students in Scientific Writing and Reference management course, 37 students completed their certificate programme in research methods, 12 students in essential concepts in Financing for health systems and 7 students were trained in Good health research practice course.
IPH was instrumental in setting up the India Health Policy and Systems Research Fellowships Programme, a premier capacity building program in the country and facilitated along with other institutional collaborators in successfully completing the online training phase, and developing the mentorship strategy for the program.
We at IPH played our part by raising awareness about COVID-19, supporting primary health care facilities in Bengaluru and Chamarajanagar, working in dealing effectively with COVID-19, and providing technical assistance to state and national agencies.
Here is a short video of what IPH contributed to society and a testimonial of beneficiaries and other stakeholders:
Followed by the testimonial video, we conducted a panel discussion with a title: “One pandemic, many experiences, reflection from diverse experiences during Covid-19” moderated by Dr. Prashanth NS, Assistant Director (Research), IPH Bengaluru. The panelist for the discussion was: Dr. Vishal Rao is presently the Chief of Head & Neck Surgical Oncology & Robotic Surgery at HCG Cancer Centre, Bangalore. He is the inventor of ‘Aum Voice Prosthesis’ a $1 speaking device for throat cancer patients; Dr. Roopa Devadasan is a Public health doctor who turned into a yoga teacher after twelve years of practicing medicine. She has been teaching science and yoga to children; Dr. Harini Nagendra is the Director of Research Center at the University and leads the University’s Center for Climate Change and Sustainability and Ms.Uma Mahadevan is currently serving as Principal Secretary, Panchayat Raj, Women & child development, Govt of Karnataka. She has served in multiple capacities at the central and the state, prominent among them are as principal secretary in the department of agriculture, education, health & family welfare, women & child development.
Followed by this, we had an interesting Oration session by Dr. C Madegowda, a tribal rights activist. The session was introduced by Dr. Pragati Hebbar, Assistant Director (Administration), IPH Bengaluru
Dr. Madegowda is an eminent social scientist and an Adivasi rights activist coming from the Bangalee podo of the Billigiri Ramaswamy betta Tiger reserve in Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka. He holds the distinction of being the first PhD scholar from the Solega community. He works as a senior research associate at the Ashoka Trust for research in ecology and the environment. Dr. Madegowda has been working very closely with the implementation of the Forest right act and various issues surrounding it among Solega as well as other forest-dwelling Adivasi communities in Karnataka. He has held various leadership positions at different levels, at the taluka, district at state within Solega, and broader Adivasi community structures or sanghas.
As part of the cultural event, we organized a small dance piece performed by Surya School of Performing Arts, Bengaluru which was followed by the Vote of thanks.
CULTURAL ACTIVITY By SURYA SCHOOL
We would like to take this opportunity to convey our gratitude to everyone who has been part of this journey.
Thirteen members of the Chronic Conditions and Public Policies cluster at IPH actively participated in the three day conference of the 5th National Conference on Tobacco or Health (NCTOH). This three-day scientific programme focused on diverse public health issues and challenges in tobacco control at the national and sub-national level along with context-specific solutions for their replication towards achieving tobacco free environments. There were plenary sessions, panel discussions, symposia, oral presentation, poster discussion, and workshops on many aspects of tobacco control which will pave the way towards building effective policy and program.
Dr Upendra Bhojani, Riddhi Dsouza, Anand Kumar, Kanika Chaudhary, Ketki Shah, Dr Pragati Hebbar, Vivek Dsouza, Dr Chandrashekar Kottagi, Kranthi Vysyaraju, Aishwarya Ashok, Praveen Rao, Achyutha Nagara Gadde and Kumaran P from the Institute of Public Health (IPH), Bengaluru actively participated in this 3-day national conference held between September 25 and 27, 2021. Dr Upendra Bhojani, Director, IPH Bengaluru on Day 1 (September 25, 2021) was in a panel discussion and presented on “How should we approach commercial determinant of health?”, he was part of the plenary session on September 26, 2021 on “Emerging Issues in Tobacco Control: Contextualising Global Interventions” and he presented on “Tobacco Industry Interference”.
Dr Pragati Hebbar made two oral presentations- “Implementation’ of tobacco control policies in LMICs – a realist synthesis to explain the process and its facilitators and barriers” and the second, “LifeFirst: Impact of a school-based tobacco- and supari-cessation intervention among adolescents in Mumbai, India.”
This national conference was a boost to tobacco control efforts by the amalgamation of tobacco control professionals, health programme managers, public health experts, civil society advocates, academicians and researchers of various clinical and non-clinical disciplines from different states across the country under one roof who shared their contextual experiences and best practices in tobacco control which was aimed to ultimately lead to advancing tobacco control in the country.