Annual Research Symposium – 2021
The Annual Research Symposium (ARS) of the University of Colombo, which unifies all symposia held by the respective Faculties, Institutes, Campus, the School and the library of the University, is one of the main events in the University calendar. This year, it was held on the 23rd of November 2021 and signified the conclusion of the centenary celebrations of the University of Colombo, which was established in 1921 as the Ceylon University College. The theme of this year’s research symposium “Impactful research through an interdisciplinary approach” aptly suited the current international trends in the conduct of research. The chief guest of the ARS 2021 was the Acting High Commissioner of India, His Excellency Vinod K Jacob, strengthening the links and engagement of the University of Colombo with High Commission of India. The Keynote Speaker was Professor Mohan Munasinghe, the 2021 Blue Planet laureate, Chairman, Presidential Expert Commission on Sustainable Sri Lanka 2030 Vision, and former Vice-Chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. We were also honoured by the presence of Professor GL Pieris, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo, and the current Foreign Minister, who participatd as a special guest.
The ARS 2021 was chaired by Professor Chandrika N. Wijeyaratne, Vice-Chancellor, University of Colombo. The organising committee was chaired by Professor Priyadarshani Galappatthy and the committee consisted of members representing all the faculties, institutes campus, school, and the library. The symposium was held as a hybrid event with a limited number gathering onsite at the New Arts Theatre of the University and most of the audience joining online, in keeping with the current health and safety guidelines. Each faculty, institute, campus, school and the library of the University also had their own research symposia of 2021 at around the same time. Each of these had an elaborate programme showcasing their research landscape covering the current topics of interest. The details of each of the symposia are available on their respective websites as well as through the University of Colombo ARS 2021 website. (https://cmb.ac.lk/annual-research-symposium).
One of the unique features of this year’s symposium was honouring the distinguished alumni and academics of the University, to mark the centenary celebrations of the University of Colombo. Total of 43 distinguished alumni and academics nominated by each of the faculties, Institutes and the library of the University were introduced to the audience in a video highlighting their contribution at university, national and international level. Some of the distinguished alumni felicitated participated in person while others joined virtually. Commemorative centenary plaques and certificates of appreciation were handed over to them by the Vice Chancellor. The inauguration subcommittee chaired by Dr. Nirmali Wijegunewardena attended to the details of this important activity.
An extensive publicity campaign, was carried out through the IT and publicity subcommittee of the ARS 2021, chaired by Professor Samantha Herath. The abstracts of all research papers were published in the proceedings of ARS 2021, edited by Professor Enoka Corea and subeditor Mr Sajith Peiris. One of the highlights of the proceedings this year was publishing the recommendations from research projects in the proceedings of ARS given in a separate chapter which will be forwarded to policymakers in parliament to consider for implementation and in development activities of the country. Professor Enoka Corea presented the key recommendations mapped according to the 17 sustainable development goals during her presentation. She has also included an editorial highlighting background to the establishment of the University in 1921 to mark this centenary celebration.
The organising committee held a logo competition among the staff and students and the meaningful logo, as well as the creative flyer, banner, and cover page of proceedings were all designed by Miss D.M.P.K. Thanayamwatta, a student of the Faculty of Arts.
GUESTS & SPEAKERS
His Excellency Vinod K Jacob
THE CHIEF GUEST
Acting High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka
Professor Mohan Munasinghe
2021 Blue Planet Prize Laureate, Chairman, Presidential Expert Commission on Sustainable Sri Lanka 2030 Vision, Former Vice Chair, UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Mr. S.M. Shifar
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