Conference Chair: AFOR 2017

Welcome address by the Conference Chair

Distinguished Guests and Participants,

Operational Research Society of India (ORSI) is one of the premier national Societies of O.R. in the world and affiliated to the International Federation of Operational Research Societies (IFORS). The Society was established in 1957 under the leadership of Prof. P. C. Mahalanobis, an eminent statistician, founder of the Indian Statistical Institute and a President of the International Statistical Institute. The year 2017 marks the eve of the 125th birth anniversary of Prof. Mahalanobis, the Diamond Jubilee of the Society as well as its 50th annual convention. Keeping in view, the concurrences of all these important milestones in the history of ORSI, it has been decided to celebrate the occasion in a grand manner by organizing an international conference on ‘‘Advancing Frontiers in Operational Research: Towards a Sustainable World’’ in conjunction with the 50th Annual Convention of ORSI at the Heritage Institute of Technology, Kolkata, during 21–23 December 2017. An award in honour of Prof. Mahalanobis will be introduced and presented to three ‘Distinguished Educators’ in India during the convention. A preconference session on 'Smart City Planning' will be held on 20 December 2017 at the same venue.

The topical theme of sustainability for the conference has been chosen to reflect global concerns with environmental sustainability today. Every human endeavour requires some resources to complete the task leaving imprints on the environment. The challenge for developing economies like ours is to focus on growth that is sustainable. Operations Research as a branch of decision sciences has an important role to play in the modelling of such growth and decision support at both macro and micro levels. It is also serendipitous that the 'Mahalanobis Distance' which is a measure of the distance between a point 'P' and a distribution 'D', introduced by Prof. Mahalanobis in his 1936 publication "On The Generalized Distance in Statistics” plays an important role in the measurement of sustainability in many such models.

I extend a warm welcome to all the distinguished guests and participants attending the conference and encourage you to have free exchange of ideas and views in the best of scholastic traditions. I am confident that the advancing frontiers of operational research and your participation in AFOR2017 will help pave the new way towards a better world.

With best wishes to all,

Vijay Chandru
Strand Life Sciences