IMS Mini-meeting Report

IMS sponsored Mini-meeting on "Statistics in Social Science and Agricultural Research" held at Santiniketan, India during December 20-21,2003. Dr. Debasis Bhattacharya, The organizer of the IMS mini-meeting at Santiniketan writes:

The IMS sponsored mini-meeting cum workshop on "Statistics in Social Science and Agricultural  Research" was held at Santiniketan, India during December 20-21,2003 under the technical support of the Department of Agricultural Extension, Economics and Statistics, Institute of Agriculture, Visva-Bharati University. There were sixty participants and eighteen papers were presented. Talks were arranged in six technical sessions and there were two full days of lectures and discussions. In the evening there were cultural programs on Indian classical music and dance. Participants were from the field of Statistics, Agricultural science and Social science. The meeting was a great success according to the opinion expressed by the participants. The speakers were Professor K.R.Sundaram, Professor H.J.Vaman, Professor Partha Lahiri, Profesor Y.P.Chaubey, Professor A.K.Basu, Professor S.N.Dwivedi, Professor Ranjana Agrawal, Professor A.K.Chattopadhyay, Professor S.B.Bagchi,Professor K.Ghosh, Profesor C.Varadachari, Professor N.C.Mondal, Professor S. Mukhopadhya , Professor S.Sen Roy, Professor P.C. Kole, Professor S.B. Mukhopadhya , Dr.R.K.Das, Mr. S.Bhattacharya, Mr.S.Chakraborty and Mr.V.G.Girish and among the speakers Professor Vaman, Professsor Lahiri, Professor Chaubey  and Professor Basu are IMS member.

At the outset I should acknowledge my thanks to the Institute of Mathematical Statistics in giving me the opportunity to organize the workshop. Further my sincere thanks goes to Elyse Gustafson, the executive director, IMS who was most helpful in all the way of organizing this mini-meeting at Santiniketan. Thank you Elyse for your generous help. I must thanks the faculty members of the Institute of Agriculture, Visva-Bharati University,  Santiniketan for their cooperation in organizing the meeting.
Inaugural session started with a small ritual event of opening song. Inaugural speech was delivered by Professor K. R. Sundaram, Chair, Division of Bio-statistics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India. He discussed the need of statistics in diverse field of life and work. He emphasized on the right use of the statistical
techniques and tools in right places, particularly on the fact that while using the statistical techniques the underlying assumptions should also be checked properly. Next, the Presidential address was delivered by Professor D. C. Ghosh, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan. He addressed different issues of Agriculture where statistics can be used for valid conclusions and pointed out the significant change in the use of statistics in the analysis of agricultural data day by day. Welcome address was delivered by Professor S.  B. Mukhopadhyay, Chair, Department of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Statistics, Visva-Bharati. He thanks IMS for sponsoring such meeting at Santiniketan ("the abode of Peace"). He expressed his hope that the participants would enjoy and learn during their stay at Tagore's University (Ranindra Nath Tagore, a great Noble Laureate poet, the founder of Visva-Bharati). Professor D Bhattacharya, the organizer of the IMS mini-meeting cum workshop at Santiniketan explained the objective of the mini-meeting and the role of IMS in promoting such meetings around the world. The inaugural session was ended with a vote of thanks
delivered by Professor K. M. B. Rahim, Director Agro-Economics Research Certre, Visva-Bharati.

First Technical session of this mini-meeting cum workshop was started at 9.30 a.m. on 20.12.2003. The session was chaired by Professor A. K. Basu of University of Calcutta, India. The session was started with the lecture of Professor H J Vaman  of Bangalore
University, India. He spoke on the use of Semi-Markov modeling in explaining the contraceptive effect of breast-feeding in terms of delaying 'next pregnancy following a child birth'. Next lecture of the session was delivered by Professor S. N. Dwivedi of Division of Bio Statistics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. He spoke on the use of hierarchical models in the analysis of public health data .A multi-level logistic regression technique to analyze the data on adoption of contraceptive in
family planning was discussed.

The second Technical Session was chaired by Professor H. J. Vaman. There were three speakers in this session. Professor K. R. Sundaram, Division of Bio Statistics, AIIMS, New Delhi spoke on the Use of Maximum likelihood method to analyze qualitative data
arising out of the medical and social science research. Professor Partha Lahiri  of University of Maryland at College park spoke on the  issues related to the small area estimation which is a major problem of many social science research. Next talk was
delivered by Professor A. K. Chattopadhyay of University of Calcutta, India. He spoke on the use of Stochastic models in modeling social and occupational mobility.

The third technical session of the day was chaired by Professor S.N. Dwivedi of AIIMS, New Delhi. The first talk of this session was delivered by Professor A .K. Basu and his Research student Mr. Sankhya Bhattacharya (both from the University of Calcutta, India). They discussed the Use of ARCH model in modeling stock return data. Professor S. B. Bagchi of Burdwan University, India discussed about the probability distribution of the weights and some variables associated with the weighted social network among the
rural farmers, where he describes the social network as the network of interaction among the members of a group and weights are the multiplicity of the same interaction within the group. Professor S. Sen Ray and his research student (both from the University of
Calcutta, India) discussed the issue of crop forecasting using time series models. Dr. R. K. Das of Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswa Vidyalaya (BCKV, a state agricultural University), India discussed the techniques of measuring Customer satisfaction in terms
of the services the concern is offering to the customer.

Technical session four was chaired by Professor K. R. Sundaram of AIIMS. First speaker was Professor Ranjana Agrawal from the Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute (IASRI),NewDelhi,India . She discussed various models used in weather based forecasting of crop yields,pests and diseases . Dr. S. Mukhopadhyay of the Department of Agricultural Statistics, BCKV discussed the use of Time Series modeling and forecasting techniques in relation to the wheat production data and Dr. P. C. Kole of Division
of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Institute of Agriculture, Visva-Bharati spoke on the various statistical tools used for genetic analysis of qualitative and quantitative characters. Lastly there was a question answer session with Professor Y. P.
Chaubey of Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, Professor Partha Lahiri of University of Maryland at College park, USA, Professor A. K. Basu, University of
Calcutta, India and Professor S. N. Dwivedi AIIMS, New Delhi, India. The technical session ended at 6 p.m.. 21st December, 2003 was the second day of the meeting.
Technical session five was chaired by Professor Patha Lahiri. There were two speakers. Professor Y. P. Chaubey of Concordia University, Montreal, Canda spoke on the use of Randomized Response Technique (RRT) and Group Response Technique (GRT) for eliciting sensitive information. Next, Professor K. Ghosh of University of  Calcutta, India and Professor C. Varadachari of Raman Centre for Applied and Interdisciplinary Sciences, Calcutta, India presented their talk on the use of Statistics in classifying clay minerals on the basis of their chemical composition.  Technical session six was chaired by Professor Y. P. Chaubey of Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. There were two contributed papers and two tutorials for Ph.D. and Post doc. students. First speaker was
Professor N. C. Mondal of Division of Plant Pathology, Institute of Agriculture, Visva-Bharati, he spoke on various situations where statistical tools in controlling pests and diseases on crop have been used. Mr. V. G. Girish presented his joint paper with his
Ph.D. Supervisor Professor S. B. Mukhopadhyay (both from the Department of Agricultural Extension, Economics and Statistics, Institute of Agriculture,
Visva-Bharati, India). He discussed the use of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) in social science research as an alternative to other cost intensive and time consuming survey method. Next, the first tutorial was on the use of various statistical packages.
Professor A. K. Chottapadhyay describes different options available to some statistical packages like Statistca or Minitab for solving some statistical issues. He also explained the way of reading the output and finding the right numbers. The second tutorial was given Professor K. R. Sundaram. He, in his tutorial on "Use of nonparametric tests",
explained various nonparametric test statistics available and can be used in different occasions where the usual assumptions of parametric test are not valid. The meeting ended with some concluding remarks from the organizer Professor D. Bhattacharya. Students and participants were very happy with the workshop and they wanted to come here again in another IMS workshop in the coming years. For more information, the
abstracts, list of participants, pictures of the programe please visit  Album link