Acknowledgements : International Webinar on Phytochemistry-2020

Dear Delegates, IWP-2020,

    Thank you very much for your active participation in the ‘International Webinar on Phytochemistry-2020’, organized by Kerala Academy of Sciences (KAS), on 28th&29th September 2020, online at Google Meet (https://meet.google.com/aau-rfhj-ihs).

The Webinar started with a warm welcome to the delegates and invited guests by Dr. K. B. Rameshkumar, General Secretary, KAS and Organizing Secretary, IWP-2020. He also gave an introduction about the genesis of the programme. Prof. Dr. G. M. Nair, President, KAS delivered the Presidential Address highlighting the importance of Science and Technology especially in the COVID-19 crisis. The seminar was inaugurated by Dr. A. Ajayaghosh, Director, CSIR-NIIST, Thiruvananthapuram, and he gave an outlook on the importance of Phytochemistry and its resurgence.  The special address was delivered by Prof. Dr. Bipin Nair, Amrita School of Biotechnology, Amrita Vishva Vidyapeetham, Kollam on the application and therapeutic utility of phytochemicals citing examples from the works carried out at Amrita Vishva Vidyapeetham. Dr. R. Prakashkumar, Director, KSCSTE-JNTBGRI, Thiruvananthapuram released the Webinar Proceedings with ISBN number, that contains the abstracts of invited talks and oral presentations. Keynote Presentation was delivered live by Dr. G. A. S. Premakumara, Colombo University, Sri Lanka on the topic “Phytochemistry- Uses in Medicinal and Industrial Applications”. He elaborated the applications of phytochemicals in human life, citing examples of herbs from Sri Lanka. The inaugural session was concluded with Vote of Thanks by Dr. T. S. Swapna, HoD, Department of Botany, Uty of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram.

One of the major components of the webinar was the oral presentations by research scholars and faculties on various aspects of phytochemistry, and four oral sessions were scheduled in two days. The first session was chaired by Dr. V. George, Director, Amity Institute of Phytochemistry and Phytomedicine, Thiruvananthapuram. In the afternoon, the second session of oral presentations were chaired by Prof. (Dr.) A. Gangaprasad, Dean, Faculty of Science, Uty of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram and Dr. Raghu K. G., Senior Principal Scientist & Head, Agro Processing and Technology Division, CSIR-NIIST, Thiruvananthapuram.

Prof. Dr. A. Hisham Endowment Award Function-2020 was the major attraction of the programme on the second day, and Ms. Amiya Jemeemah Hisham, daughter of the late Prof. Hisham gave a warm welcome to the delegates and invitees and also she fondly remembered how her father inculcated a scientific temper among his associates. In the function, the Presidential Address was given by Prof. (Dr.) G. M. Nair, President, KAS, and Dr. K. Murugan, Former Principal, Govt. Arts College, Thiruvananthapuram delivered a commemorating lecture on Prof. Dr. A. Hisham. Prof. Dr. Intan Safinar Ismail, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia gave the Prof. Dr. A. Hisham Endowment Lecture-2020 on the topic “Evidence based Traditional Medicinal Plants”. She deliberated on the necessity of scientific validation of the herbal medicinal applications, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, Prof. Dr. A. Hisham Endowment Award was received by Ms. Lekshmi N Menon, JNTBGRI, and she gave a presentation on the award winning topic “Phytochemical investigation of selected Garcinia species from the Western Ghats”. The award consisting medal, citation and cash price of Rs.10,000/-  was presented to Ms. Lekshmi N Menon by Prof. Dr. Ooommen V Oommen, Former President, KAS and Mrs. Alpha Hisham, wife of the late Prof. Dr. A. Hisham. The award session was concluded by Vote of Thanks by Dr. K. G. Ajitkumar, Former Gen. Secretary, KAS.

The third session of the oral presentations were chaired by Dr. G. Jayakumar, Former Principal, MG College, Thiruvananthapuram, and in the afternoon, the fourth session was chaired by Dr. A. Jayakumaran Nair, Head, Dept.of Biotechnology, and Hon. Director, IUCGGT, University of Kerala.

     Online interaction with scientists in the field of Phytochemistry was an attractive part of the session. Prof. Dr. Asok Banerji, Amrita Vishva Vidyapeetham, Kollam, Dr. V. George, Amity Institute of Phytochemistry and Phytomedicine, Thiruvananthapuram, Dr. A. Kholis, Swiss German University, Indonesia and Dr. Suresh Babu, IICT, Hyderabad participated in the live interaction session.

In the Valedictory Session, Dr. K. Vijayakumar, Treasurer, KAS extended a warm welcome to the participants, and KAS President Prof. (Dr.) G. M. Nair delivered the Presidential Address. Prof. (Dr.) P. R. Sudhakaran, Former President, KAS gave the Valedictory Address, and he elaborated the relevance of natural products chemistry and especially phytochemistry. Among the 33 oral presentations held at four sessions, Vidhya Prakash Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kollam, won the first price,  Ramesh S.V., ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod, Kerala and Lakshmi Mohan, Saintgits College of Engineering, Kottayam shared the second price and Jayalekshmi H Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kollam won the third price. The awards were declared by Prof. (Dr.) Annie Abraham, Jt. Sec., KAS and convenor of the judging panel. The valedictory session concluded with Vote of Thanks by Dr. M. Shaneeth, Vice President, KAS.

     The programme was attended by 262 participants from across the country and abroad. Altogether, 33 oral presentations were carried out in four sessions. The webinar provided a platform for effective discussions related to the recent progress and future prospects of Phytochemistry and hope the webinar gave an opportunity for the delegates to interact with experts in the field. As the eminent phytochemists pointed out in the discussions, the advances in the phytochemistry field have to be explored for the utilization of our diverse plant wealth and such webinars would definitely give a thrust to the dissemination of knowledge on emerging techniques and prospects in the field.

Let me extend our sincere thanks on behalf of KAS, to all the invited guests, speakers, session chairs, evaluators and delegates for their gracious presence, interactions and wholehearted support to the programme. I also acknowledge my colleagues, students and research fellows for their seamless effort in organizing the seminar.

KAS, in continuation of its scientific pursuits, is organizing an array of programmes, and as a sequel to the Phytochemistry Webinar, an online session on Reverse Pharmacology (https://meet.google.com/dfm-rtcz-gzt), entitled ‘Discovery and Development of Phyto-Pharmaceuticals with special reference to Reverse Pharmacology, System Biology and Nutrigenomics’, by the renowned scientist and entrepreneur Dr. C. N. Ramchand, is scheduled on 10th October, 2020. You are cordially invited to participate in the webinar.


With warm regards


Prof. Dr. G. M. Nair                                                                         
President, KAS     


Dr. K. B. Rameshkumar
General Secretary, KAS and Organizing Secretary, IWP-2020

Proceedings and Abstracts of Papers : International Webinar on Phytochemistry-2020

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Annual General Body Meeting Programme