International Research Conference 2020 Successfully launched

General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University commenced its two-day International Research Conference under the theme “Holistic Approach to National Growth and Security,” on 15th October 2020. The inaugural session of the conference held for the 13th consecutive time was graced by the presence of Hon Minister of Education, Professor GL Peiris as the Chief Guest, and Professor Kapila Perera, Secretary to the Ministry of Education, was the Keynote Speaker of the event.

The Vice Chancellor Major General Milinda Pieris in his welcome address stated the significance of the Conference taking place in a challenging environment, and he stressed the commitment of the university for continuity of events even under the most trying circumstances. Such efforts, he opined, would be necessary for enhancing the resilience of the nation during crisis situations. The Vice Chancellor further added that KDU, from its inception, was instrumental in handing down the core values of security to the development paradigm in Sri Lanka. He further stated the importance of maintaining a harmonious blend in security and development in all national projects.

The chief guest, Professor GL Peiris expressed his appreciation of selecting an extremely appropriate and timely theme for deliberations in this year’s conference, and he praised the university for continuing its committed efforts even under exceedingly challenging circumstances adapting to novel situations remarkably well. Speaking further, Professor Peiris elucidated the significance of the conference theme that highlights the intimate relationship between national security and the development, explaining with empirical evidence from the experiences of the nation in the recent past, how development efforts undermining security could be detrimental to a country’s future.

Speaking about higher education in the country, Prof Peiris emphasized on the urgent need for reforms to bridge the gap between education and employment opportunities. He stressed on the urgent need for revising what he called “obsolete and anachronistic curricula” in education and for introducing methods of teaching and learning that develop analytical and critical faculties of learners to enable them to apply volumes of knowledge to face challenges and solve problems, and in conclusion, he expressed his opinion that with its readiness for innovation, its quick identification of contemporary national needs and its appropriate interventions, KDU renders an invaluable service for the nation.

The Keynote Speaker Professor Kapila Perera explained the concept of security in a broader perspectives and elaborated how the absence of security would jeopardize our expectations of being developed. He also emphasized on the need for applying a holistic approach in education, and he stated that KDU has proven to be an institution that adopts such an approach. With his closer affinity with KDU as one of its alumnus, Prof Perera commented on the success of the experimentations of KDU with a new model in education where civil and military students engage in their higher educational pursuits.

The two-day conference attracted six hundred and fifty plus paper submissions for the technical sessions, and the first day of the conference was successfully concluded with the completion of the nine Faculty plenary sessions that were adorned with presentations by national and international scholars of eminence in each discipline on various sub themes.

The completion of the technical sessions of the different faculties on the 16th is expected to mark the successful completion of this mammoth annual event conducted this time mostly on virtual platform, and it will be written in the annals of KDU history as a significant achievement in terms of its resilience and determination to move forward achieving its set goals. The Health Guidelines and procedures issued by Health Authorities were strictly adhered to during the entire period of the event ensuring safety of all who attended the ceremony.

KDU is proud of its contribution to the field of research by opening a platform for researchers, particularly young researcher in various disciplines to grow up to be Sri Lankan researchers, scientists, innovators and forerunners of a developed Sri Lankan nation sooner than later.