Karnataka has hosted five National Conferences of Association of Physicians of India. Four of these conferences were held at Bangalore Medical College and the other conference was held at Mangalore. After twenty years, Karnataka has got the opportunity to host the six conference – 73rd Annual Conference of Physicians of India at Bangalore, the Garden city of India.

Following are the reflections about the previous conferences -


Reflections of the Volunteer of the 1965 Annual conference of API - My old friend Dr. P.Chandrasekhara has really put me in a fix by literally ordering me to write about the All India Physicians Conference which was held in Bangalore Medical College--a memory piece! I suspect  Dr. Om Prakash to be the co-conspirator in making me the fall guy. The event took place exactly fifty seven years ago, and I often diagnose myself to be afflicted by Alzheimer's when I cannot remember the name of my cousin's son or something which happened a fortnight ago. But anyway, as Dr. Chandrasekhara is taking all the risks, here goes........

The year was 1965 and I was a third year student of MBBS in Bangalore Medical College. I was one of the volunteers to work/help in the conference. Since I was the pre-clinical class representative the previous year, I was easily recognised by the teachers.

Those were the days when Bangalore Medical College hosted most of the All India Medical Conferences which were to be held in Bangalore. Ours was the only real full fledged college, what with the St. John's having been established only in 1963. Also the present trend/practice of holding these conferences in 5-star hotels or Convention Centres had not yet come into practice.

So, these Conferences would be held in our College. The inauguration would be in the Rajendra Prasad Auditorium, (which has been brought down now along with most of one half of BMC, replaced by a multistoreyed building which is slated to be inaugurated this year) and the various sessions would be held in the various lecture halls, the  Anatomy, Pharmacology and Preventive and Social Medicine Department Lecture Halls mostly because they had gallery seating. The main sessions would be in the Auditorium itself.

Those were the days of 2 x 2 slides, no fancy presentation facilities like now. (These days, in the conferences, I see that speakers try to outdo each other in their Power Point Presentations by using all kinds of technologically advanced techniques, sometimes all style and less substance) And the narrow corridors and the spaces near the balcony of the Auditorium were used as preparation rooms. And believe you me, on many presentations, more time was spent on preparing these presentations, essentially in placing the slides in the correct order. And some of the speakers would bring round carousel type slide holders which made the life of volunteers miserable.

Anyway, I remember that Maj. Gen. Bhatia was the President at that time and in the Reception Committee, co-chaired  by the Dean, all the senior Professors from all the Departments were there. In the Medicine Dept those days we had Dr. Chinnapullai, Dr. Basavaraj Urs, Dr. C.R.Rao, Dr. A. Nagaraj, Dr. B.P.Gururaja Rao, Dr. K.S.Shadaksharappa, Dr.(Ms)Hilda Koilpillai, Dr. T.B.Basavarajendra to name some and even the senior Surgical Staff like Dr. K.Krishnamurthy, Dr. K.M.Kalappa were also on the Reception Committee, not to mention Dr. M.Gurudas and one Dr. Chetty, who was not on BMC staff but obviously knew everyone closely. He was a General Practitioner practicing in the Chickpet-City Market area, and was a permanent fixture in all the Organizing Committees of all the Conferences. From the Pre-Clinical side we had Dr. R Vishwanath and Dr. C.V Jayakeerthy from the Para Clinical side.

In those years, the high point of the Conference which was the Banquet would often be held at the Lal Bagh Glass House. 
The banquet was the high point because liquor used to be served and the food also would be catered by reputed caterers like the Prakash Cafe.

I cannot end this without remembering and mentioning one thing. In every Conference, it was common for our student Volunteers to somehow lay their hands on a few bottles of Beer or some hard liquor. This used to happen with the active connivance of the student volunteers who had been assigned the banquet, and often under threat from the senior student volunteers. This conference banquet was no exception. A few beer bottles had somehow found their way to the nearby Hotel De Latest. But this was obviously quickly discovered and Dr. Chetty who was in-charge of the banquet arrangements raised a hue and cry. I came to know about it backstage in the auditorium where the entertainment programme was going on. I ran to the hotel to warn my friends and was laughed out of the hotel. (I do not remember whether I had helped my friends at this point of time -- ? early Alzheimer's as I indicated earlier) But that night Dr. R. Vishwanath our strict and pure Anatomy Professor who was in-charge of volunteers personally dropped me home at Chickpet on his scooter constantly complaining about how some of the volunteers had spoiled the fair name of BMC. 
Dr. Chetty did not stop at this but complained to the Dean and recommended that some action should be taken against the guilty volunteers! But this was shot down in the organising committee meeting by Drs. K M Kalappa and A. Nagaraj who defended the students - boys will be boys! 

This is all I can recollect now about the API Conference 1965 which was held at Bangalore Medical College. 

Dr. K. M. Srinivasa Gowda

Reflections of 1985 Annual Conference of API – APICON 1998

The 40th National Conference of the Association of Physicians of India was held during January 1985.The conference was unique in the sense that the logo APICON was coined for the first time , the credit goes entirely to the organizing secretary Dr.T.B.Basavarajendra and subsequent conferences were came to be known as APICON 86,87 and so on. Nearly 1500 delegates attended the conference.The venue was Bangalore Medical college. Dr. M.Maiya was incharge of transport and accomodation, Dr.H.S.Hande was incharge of Scientific committee, Dr. G.Rame Gowda catering, Dr. B.P.Mruthyunjayanna Souvenir, Dr. B.M.Jayaram decoration.

Main hall for the Conference was erected in the BMC quadrangle, and the Exhibition was held in the college Auditorium. The scientific proceedings were held in all the class rooms of the college.

The Banquet was held in Taj. The entertainment programme consisted of Veena recital by Smt. Suma Sudhindra, Viswarupa Darshana by Prabhat Kalavidaru and dance by M/s Manju Bhargavi.

The conference was much appreciated for its academic and gastronomic variance and paved the way for more excellency in the subsequent conferences.

The year 1985, Bangalore was the garden city, a retired man’s paradise known for its lush vegetation and salubrious climate and during the month of January it was like a hill resort.

Dr Vasantha Kamath
Jt Org. Secretary, APICON 1985

APICON 1998

The 53rd Joint Annual Conference of API (APICON '98) was held between 16th to 20th of January 1998 at Bangalore. Late Dr. K. S. Shadaksarappa and Dr. M. Maiya were the Chairman and Organizing Secretary respectively. Prof. B. C. Bansal was the National President and Dr. P. C. Manoria was the President Elect. The Conference was unique in many ways.

This conference was the fourth one to be held in Bangalore - the earlier ones being on 1965, 1975 and 1985. The 1998 conference coincided with the 50th year of Indian independence! It was the biggest API Conference of the time with the registration of 4,000 delegates and 1,000 accompanying persons. The venue of the conference was Bangalore Medical College and surrounding places to accommodate 9 concurrent sessions and guest lectures. For the first time, a magic show and panorama of dances of India were arranged to entertain the delegates.

The conference was held at various places around the Bangalore Medical College – Fort High School open space, where the Main hall was erected for the main plenary sessions. Other places were Kuvempu auditorium, Gayana Samaja, IMA building, Scouts office space. There was a over head bridge was constructed for smooth passage of delegates from main hall to other venues.

The conference was instrumental in helping to build API Bhavana - consisting of an auditorium, library, clubhouse and office spaces. The Karnataka Chapter of API is the first one to have its own building in the country.

Dr. M. Maiya
Org Secretary, APICON 1998

Bangalore Medical College
Venue for all Four APICON’s at Bengaluru.