Establishment of IADVL and its present day status
Devinder Mohan Thappa
Department of Dermatology and STD, JIPMER, Pondicherry - 605 006
|How to cite this article:
Thappa DM, Kumari R. Establishment of IADVL and its present day status. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2009;75:204-210
The Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists (IADVL), the largest representing society of Indian Dermatologists, was established on January 28, 1973.
Founding of the IADVL
In the year 1935, Dr. U. B. Narayan Rao, pioneer in the speciality, started the private publication, the Indian Journal of Venereology , with the prime aim of arousing the interest of general practitioners. , He also conceived the creation of an association of dermatologists and venereologists, subsequently inviting all leading dermatologists and venereologists of Bombay. In this venture, he was enthusiastically supported by, among others, Dr. P. Natesan, Professor of Venereology, Stanley Medical College, Madras. It was agreed to initiate the process by first forming an association in Bombay. Accordingly, a subcommittee was formed to frame the constitution for the proposed association. At the next meeting, the report of this committee was approved. On July 1, 1947, Dr. U. B. Narayan Rao realized his dream as the Bombay Association was inaugurated by Shri Morarji M. Desai, the then Home and Revenue Minister, Government of Bombay. Seth GS Medical College, Bombay, hosted this inaugural function. Thus, the Bombay Association became a catalyst and diversified its activity to induct fellow specialists elsewhere in the country. In order to achieve its objectives, the association undertook to hold an all-India Conference of Dermatologists and Venereologists on December 27 and 28, 1947, at the JJ Hospital, Bombay. Lieutenant Colonel Jelal M. Shah, Chairman of the Reception Committee, in his welcome address, appealed to the government to set up departments of dermatology and venereology in the medical colleges and hospitals and to appoint specialists.  Dr. M. D. D. Gilder, the then Minister of Health, Government of Bombay, inaugurated the conference. He focused the attention of the delegates on the prevalence of venereal diseases and leprosy. The presidential address was delivered by Dr. R. V. Rajam. It was titled, "The Medical and Public Health Aspect of Venereal Diseases in India". 
The next day, on December 28, after a general discussion, an all-India Association of Dermatologists and Venereologists was founded, with 34 members.  The day (December 28, 1947) became a landmark in the history of Indian dermatology. The infrastructure to perpetuate the functioning of the association was prepared through a resolution, namely, the first all-India Conference of Dermatologists and Venereologists resolved to transform itself into an all-India Association of Dermatologists and Venereologists (IADV). A subcommittee was formed to frame the rules and by-laws and it was decided to circulate the rules and regulations to all the members for their approval and the aims and objectives of the association were drafted as listed below:
- To promote the study of and research in Dermatology and Venereology.
- To create public opinion in matters relating to the prevention and cure of these diseases in all their aspects.
- To promote professional fellowship and exchange of views among members and to safeguard their interests in different spheres of their activities.
- To carry on such propaganda as may be found necessary or feasible for the attainment of these objectives.
- To cooperate with medical and other institutions having, altogether or in part, similar objectives.
- To maintain a library of books.
- To organize branches of the association in the provinces.
- To do all such other things as are cognate to the objectives of the association.
The conference inspired the members of the association to work toward the fulfillment of these objectives.
The rules framed for the all-India body were approved on June 26, 1948.  These were circulated to all the members of the association for their perusal. At the same time, the association started the work on establishing local branches in other states. The Madras branch of the association came into existence on August 28, 1948. Dr. R. V. Rajam was appointed as president and Dr. P. Natesan as secretary and treasurer. The Bengal branch was formed in the same year under the chairmanship of Dr. L. M. Ghosh.
The second all-India Conference of Dermatology and Venereology was held in Calcutta on April 14 and 15, 1951, under the chairmanship of Dr. A. C. Rebello [Table - 1].  In his presidential address, Dr. Rebello read out the achievements of the association in the last 5 years and stressed the need to consolidate them. He focused the attention of the members on the as-yet unfulfilled objectives of the association. The most important of these were the establishment of branches of the association in all major cities, development of an Indian Journal of Dermatology and Venereology and interaction with governmental and non-governmental associations in the world so as to bring about international collaboration to develop this specialty in the country. He appealed to the members to rededicate themselves to the task of prevention and treatment of skin diseases. 
The next day, on April 15, the members held a meeting to make a decision on starting a journal, the official organ of the association.  The Indian Journal o f Venereology , a publication owned by Dr. U. B. Narayan Rao, which was started in 1935 and later renamed Indian Journal o f Venereal Diseases and Dermatology in 1940, was magnanimously offered to the association for adoption. Four years later, the first issue of the official journal was delivered in 1955 under its new name, Indian Journal o f Dermatology and Venereology , with Dr. U. B. Narayan Rao as its managing editor. The stalwarts, Dr. R. V. Rajam, Dr. G. Panja and Dr. Chatterji provided luster and academic dimensions to the office of the editor-in-chief. The editorial board was formed by the members of the Bombay, Calcutta and Madras branches.
July 1952 was yet another landmark when, for the first time, the association sent delegates to the 10th International Congress of Dermatology in London. It was represented by Dr. R. V. Rajam, Dr. P. N. Rangiah and Dr. G. Panja. Dr. U. B. Narayan Rao was the Indian secretary to the congress. 
The first branch in Delhi was founded by Dr. P. N. Behl in the year 1955. He was chief of dermatology in the Irwin Hospital (now Lok Nayak Jayprakash Narayan Hospital).
A meeting of the Central Council was held at Bombay on March 31, 1956. It was resolved that the journal would thereafter be published by a local editor, who would assume the responsibility of scrutinizing the material received for publication. He would be assisted in this task by an editorial board consisting of members of the four branches. 
The third conference was held in Madras in December 1956 and the fourth one at Delhi in February 1962, where it was decided to affiliate the IADV with the Association of Physicians of India (API). From 1963, the conference became an annual fixture, being held jointly with API. This provided a greater exposure of the specialty and opportunities to interact with the physicians. ,, There were many other associations that were holding meetings jointly with the API. These included endocrinologists, diabeticologists, nephrologists, hematologists, cardiologists and gastroenterologists. The inauguration used to be common. The morning sessions were also common, the scientific program of which was handled by the API. The afternoon sessions were for specialties, each specialty given a separate room/hall (Personal observation - Dr. Gurmohan Singh). This continued until 1974, after which this affiliation was severed and IADV became an independent body.  The first independent conference of the association was held in 1975 at Trivandrum, under the Chairmanship of Dr. B. M. Ambady.
During the period from 1956 to 1974, the status of the specialty was further elevated and steps were taken by state governments to set up departments of dermatology and venereology in medical institutions.  The establishment of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) with a separate department for dermatology in 1960, under the stewardship of Professor K. C. Kandhari, was a conspicuous landmark; however, the association suffered a setback during the period 1956-1960. A rift was created among the members on the issues of the workings of the association. The members of the Calcutta branch parted company from the association and formed the Dermatological Society of India (DSI) [Table - 2]. The Indian Journal of Dermatology was their official organ, the first issue of which was published in the year 1955 (www.e-ijd.org). It was a serious jolt as the association that had undertaken the task of establishing the credentials of the specialty was in danger of losing its identity. Conciliatory efforts were made by concerned members. Professors K. C. Kandhari, S. C. Desai, D. P. Jayaram, T. K. Mehta and others of IADV and Professors D. Majumdar, B. N. Banerjee, S. C. Mitra and others of DSI were trying to sort out differences (Personal observation - Dr. Gurmohan Singh). They were assisted by younger dermatologists, including Dr. Gurmohan Singh, Dr. L. K. Bhutani and Dr. A. K. Dutta. The main issues of contention were the inclusion of "Venereology" and the new nomenclature of the joint association. Some of the dermatologists of DSI, including Prof. A. S. Thambiah wanted that the specialty of dermatology should remain separate. He did not want to "adulterate" it with venereology. He and others with similar views opted out (Personal observation - Dr. Gurmohan Singh). Before the formal amalgamation on January 28, 1973, DSI and IADV members held another meeting on August 20, 1972 at Calcutta to formulate the broad principles for the amalgamation. The two bodies finally met at Udaipur on January 28, 1973 and unanimously agreed on the reunification. They amalgamated into one association, which has since been named the IADVL.  The resolution read as "The general body of the Indian Association of Dermatologists and Venereologists hereby resolves that with effect from 29 th January 1973, we will amalgamate with Dermatological Society of India to form Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists. This body further resolves that the assets of Indian Association of Dermatologists and Venereologists without any liabilities be transferred to the newly formed association of Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists," signed by Dr. J. N. Sinha (President, IADV, 1972) and Dr. T. Gopinathan (General Secretary, IADV, 1972). The office of the new association was planned to be set up in New Delhi. Professor B. N. Banerjee (the first professor of Dermatology in India, considered as "Father of modern dermatology in India") was unanimously appointed the first president of IADVL and Dr. L. K. Bhutani was made the first Honorary General Secretary of the association, with its first annual conference being held at Udaipur, from January 29 to 31, 1973. The second conference was held in Patna, again as a part of the Joint Conference of the API. At this conference, Dr. B. M. Ambady and Dr. Gurmohan Singh were elected as President and Honorary General Secretary, respectively, on the floor of the house (Personal observation - Dr. Gurmohan Singh). The term of General Secretary was increased to 2 years from one year.
Dr. B. M. Ambady offered to hold the Annual Conference in Trivandrum, independent of the API. The API was informed of its dissociation by Dr. Gurmohan Singh, Honorary General Secretary (Personal observation - Dr. Gurmohan Singh). It was one of the finest conferences where Dr. Ambady gave personal attention to each delegate. Most of delegates were taken to his grand palace like house for a cup of tea before the conference. Dr. Gangadharan was the organizing secretary.
The fourth conference was held at AIIMS, New Delhi (Personal observation - Dr. Gurmohan Singh). An international symposium on pigmentation was held along with it. Many foreign dignitaries, including Dr. Samuel B. Frank, President of the International Society of Dermatology, participated in the conference. President of India, Dr. Fakrudin Ali Ahmed inaugurated the conference. Dr. Gurmohan Singh was the President of the Association. Immediate past president was Dr. C. Sobhanadri.
The association was registered under its new name, the Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists, at Varanasi on May 8, 1975 under the Societies Registration Act (21 of 1860) vide Registration No. 270-1975-76, No. 760/1-35960/Lucknow, dated 19-5-1975.  Dr. S. B. Mondal designed the logo of the IADVL.
Until then, no formal elections of the central council of members or even the state branches were held. The office bearers were chosen by consensus of opinion and goodwill under the recommendations of the committee of three senior members. A need was felt for a comprehensive constitution to avoid confrontations, misconceptions and misunderstandings. A fresh comprehensive constitution was drafted by Dr. A. Krishna, Madras, in the year 1982.  It redefined the relationship of the center and the state branches. It also streamlined the process of the election of the office bearers. It recommended yearly elections through postal ballot under the watchful eye of the returning officer. This ushered in the era of democracy in the association. In accordance with the constitution, the name of the official organ of the IADVL was also changed to Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology (incorporating the Indian Journal of Dermatology and Venereology ) . The first issue under the new name was published in 1976.  Ever since, it has continued to appear bimonthly. The Constitution of IADVL was first printed in 1992 and then subsequently in 1996, 2000 and recently in 2006 [Table - 3]. 
The following members have rendered services as the Presidents, Honorary General Secretaries and Honorary Treasurers of IADVL  :
Presidents of IADVL
Dr. B. N. Banerjee (Late) (1973), Dr. B. M. Ambadi (Late) (1974), Dr. C. Sobanadri (1975), Dr. Gurmohan Singh (1976), Dr. T. V. Venkatesan (Late) (1977), Dr. Brig. T. R. Chopra (1978), Dr. B. M. S. Bedi (1979), Dr. S. R. Sadana (Late) (1980), Dr. L. K. Bhutani (Late) (1981), Dr. T. Gopinath (1982), Dr. A. Krishna (1983), Dr. L. Marquis (Late) (1984), Dr. F. Handa (1985), Dr. R. K. Dutta (1986), Dr. D. K. Gupta (1987), Dr. R. K. Panja (Late) (1988), Dr. M. A. Wali (Late) (1989), Dr. K. Siddappa (1990), Dr. B. Narsimha Rao (1991), Dr. V. N. Sehgal (1992), Dr. S. K. Panja (1993), Dr. R. G. Valia (1994), Dr. R. P. Okhandiar(1995), Dr. J. S. Pasricha (1996), Dr. Kalyan Banerjee (1997), Dr. Jayakar Thomas (1998), Dr. Rishi Bhargav (1999), Dr. Ganesh S. Pai (2000), Dr. Bhushan Kumar (2001), Dr. K. K. Rajababu (2002), Dr. A. K. Bajaj (2003), Dr. Rui Fernandez (2004), Dr. V. P. Kuriyipe (2005), Dr. Suresh P. Joshipura (2006), Dr. Chetan Oberai (2007), Dr. S. Sacchidanand (2008), Dr. V. K. Sharma (2009) and Dr. Hemangi Jerajani (President elect).
Honorary General Secretaries of IADVL
Dr. L. K. Bhutani (Late), Dr. N. C. Sethi, Dr. K. Siddappa, Dr. A. D. Dharmaratnam, Dr. A. K. Chakrawarthy, Dr. Brijesh Agarwal, Dr. Deepak Parikh, Dr. Dinesh G. Mathur, Dr. Suresh P. Joshipura, Dr. Amarkant Jha Amar, Dr. S. Sacchidanand, Dr. Koushik Lahiri (2006-8) and Dr. Rajeev Sharma (2008-10).
Honorary Treasurers of IADVL
Dr. N. C. Sethi, Dr. N. A. Karibasappa, Dr. S. B. Mandal, Dr. R. M. Parmanand, Dr. Asit Mukherjee, Dr. Uma Shankar Agarwal, Dr. Chetan Oberai, Dr. Janak K. Thakkar, Dr. Prasoon Kumar Roy, Dr. S. D. Nagendra Guptha, Dr. Arijit Coondoo (2006-8) and Dr. Roopak Saxena (2008-10).
Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereolgy and Leprology (IJDVL)
In 1935-36, a journal named "Indian Journal of Venereal Diseases" was released, which was edited by Dr. U. B. Narayan Rao.  In 1940, the name of the journal was changed to "Indian Journal of Venereal Diseases and Dermatology," having four issues in a year.
Till 1955, Dr. U. B. Narayan Rao ran "The Indian Journal of Venereology and Dermatology" on proprietary basis. On March 31, 1955, the journal became the official publication of the Association, having three editors: (1) Dr. G. Panja, Dermatology Section, (2) Dr. R. V. Rajam, Venereology Section and (3) Dr. U. B. Narayan Rao, Managing Editor. The first official issue of the journal started in June, 1955. Dr. U. B. Narayan Rao passed away in 1960. After his death, Dr. T. K. Mehta took over as Managing Editor. 
The following luminaries have rendered services as Chief Editor of IJDVL through different years: Dr. S. C. Desai, Dr. Bhaktavizam, Dr. (Mrs.) Rachel Mathai, Dr. J. S. Pasricha, Dr. S. G. Despande, Dr. Gurmohan Singh, Dr. K. Pavithran and Dr. Uday Khopkar. At present, Dr. D. M. Thappa (2009-12) is the Chief Editor of IJDVL.  The journal, IJDVL, in recent years has witnessed phenomenal change both in quality and in impact factor. The www.ijdvl.com is in place since May 2003. It is an open-access journal website with a very high number of hits. IJDVL has been indexed in the Index Medicus since January 2006.  Recently, it has also been included in the Science Citation Index Expanded. 
Indian Journal of Dermatology (IJD)
The Indian Journal of Dermatology (www.e-ijd.org) started its journey in 1955. From 1962 to 1990, this was the only Indian dermatology journal to be indexed in the Index Medicus. In 2005, this journal observed its Golden Jubilee year (IJD GoldCon) (Source: Dr. Koushik Lahiri).
Since 1973, The Venues of Various National Conferences of the IADVL have been as Under
Udaipur (1973), Patna (1974), Trivandrum (1975), New Delhi (1976), Ahmedabad (1977), Calcutta (1978), Srinagar (1979), Goa (1980), Indore (1981), Hyderabad (1982), Mangalore (1983), Aurangabad (1984), Cochin (1985) Jabalpur (1986), Pune (1987), Calcutta (1988), Mumbai (1989), Jaipur (1990), Vishakhapatnam (1991), Patna (1992), Manipal (1993), New Delhi (1994), Madras (1995), Ahmedabad (1996), Guwahati (1997), Chandigarh (1998), Bhubaneshwar (1999), Bangalore (2000), Agra (2001), Kochi (2002), Kolkata (2003), Mumbai (2004), New Delhi (2005), Hyderabad (2006), Chennai (2007), Chandigarh (2008) and Bengaluru (2009).
Current Status and Future Challenges for IADVL
The IADVL provides a common platform to all doctors qualified in the specialty and affords a sense of fraternity and comradeship.  It promotes professional fellowship, cooperation and exchange of views between its members. It endeavors to impart an identity to the specialty, recognizes the work of senior academicians and encourages the youngsters to improve their academic knowledge through its official journal, guest lectures, Continuing Medical Education (CME) programs and by awarding medals and prizes. It holds annual conferences, both at national, zonal, and state levels. Of course, the objective of service to the community remains foremost.
Ever since its inception, members of the association have strived to fulfill its objectives.  The association celebrated its Silver Jubilee in 1972 and on that day it had established 15 state branches and had 1792 members. Along with national executives, there were office bearers for each of the state branches. The state branches usually hold a monthly meeting. The host institutions present interesting clinical cases, which are kept either for demonstration to the youngsters or for taking the opinion of the house for their diagnosis and management. This offers a unique opportunity to the post-graduates to enter into a dialogue with the senior academicians. Also, at some of these meetings, CME is presented. A midyear symposium and an annual conference are also organized by each state branch. The scientific sessions consists of paper presentations and panel discussions. The election of the executives of the state branch also takes place at this annual conference.
The national conference of the IADVL is held once a year. It is attended by the members of the IADVL and the invited foreign delegates. The conference begins with the installation of the new office bearers. This is followed by the presidential address. The secretary and the editor read out their annual reports. The scientific sessions are comprised of guest lectures, paper sessions, panel discussions, competition sessions for the post-graduates and poster sessions. Orations and medals are awarded to deserving candidates.
The first interaction between the IADVL and the International Society of Tropical Dermatology was conceived in New Delhi through an international conference in 1976, under the theme "pigmentary dermatoses." The IADVL hosted the VII International Congress of Dermatology in Delhi from February 27 to March 2, 1994.  As per a resolution of the IADVL General Body, all national conferences of the IADVL are now known as DERMACON, all state conferences as CUTICON and all zonal conferences as DERMAZONE.  The Gujarat State Branch, under the Editorship of Dr. B. C. Kamdar, the President of the IADVL Gujarat State Branch, with the help of Dr. L. P. Ghodasara, Honorary Secretary in 1987, first published an all-India directory of members of the IADVL at a remote place like Rajkot, with meager facilities. At that time, modern facilities of computer and computer-based printing technology were not available and everything was to be managed manually. Subsequently, Dr. Suresh P. Joshipura, as the Honorary General Secretary, published another updated directory in 1998. Then, in 2000, Dr. Amar Kant Jha Amar published another edition and in 2004 the last edition under the Secretaryship of Dr. S. Sacchidanand was released.
This new edition of the IADVL directory (updated up to December 2007) contains the details of almost 5000 life members of the IADVL. The IADVL has published the "IADVL Textbook and Atlas of Dermatology" in two volumes under the editorship of Dr. R. G. Valia in 1994.  The objective to publish the above textbook was to fill a lacuna in our post-graduate teaching of dermatology. This book has been specially prepared keeping in view the Indian and third-World perspective. The first edition of the book received tremendous response. Therefore, considering the need of the time, IADVL had published a second updated edition of the textbook in 2001. The third edition was released in 2008. IADVL has been receiving the royalty amount obtained by the sales of this textbook. 
Every year, IADVL offers various training fellowships and young members receive various international scholarships through IADVL.  In 2001, the IADVL website (www.iadvl.com) was initially created by Dr. Kuriyipe/Dr. P. V. Mathew/Dr. S. Criton before the 30th National Conference of the IADVL held at Kochi, Kerala (2002). This contained a lot of preliminary information about IADVL as well. Once the conference got over, the website was retained. More inputs were added for the same. Under the guidance of Dr. K. K. Rajababu and Dr. A. K. Bajaj and with the help of the editor of IJDVL, Dr. Uday Khopkar, Honorary General Secretary Dr. S. Sacchidanand and the National Executive body strengthened the IADVL website with additional information and features. Less than 25% of its members were computer savvy by then. Dr. V. P. Kuriyipe, sensing this aspect, embarked upon an ambitious project of purchasing one laptop for every dermatologist in the country. Initially, it received a tremendous response, but ultimately around 400 dermatologists purchased it. However, this sensitized all the members and the number of hits to the IADVL website increased gradually. By the end of 2005, the website was more informative and interactive.
In 2006, under the leadership of the President Dr. Suresh Joshipura and Honorary General Secretary Dr. Koushik Lahiri, a full-fledged IADVL website committee was formed and the official new website www.iadvl.org was launched during CC MIDERMAMEET 2006 at Hyderabad on August 6.  This is a dynamic and interactive site loaded with all the information about IADVL and its branches and all the forthcoming conferences and workshops both within and outside the country, with information about all awards, prizes, scholarships, etc. The whole IADVL directory can be searched online. A member can read the entire IADVL Constitution and all the IADVL NEWS Letters online. The process of online updating of members address is another very useful feature. The IADVL Secretariat and the Editor of IJDVL get the information instantly. In short, the new and updated official website has completely revolutionized the day-to-day administrative works of the association and ushered in e-governance in the works of the IADVL.
With several e-groups (academic, general and others) under its banner and keeping pace and rhythm with the recent communication revolution, IADVL has developed a very user-friendly system and has evolved as a modern, dynamic, responsive and resonant organization. 
The member countries of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation have formed an Association for the Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists and are known as South Asian Regional Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists (SARAD).  IADVL has become an active member of SARAD. Now, the scope of our activities will expand vigorously across the boundaries of India.
IADVL is now a very important member of International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS), with one of the biggest representation among all the dermatological associations/societies from across the globe. For the first time in the history, a member of the IADVL, the President (2007) Dr. Chetan Oberai, has been elected to the Board of Regional Directors of ILDS representing the South Asia, Middle East and Africa region. 
Let us hope that we, in present and in our future generations, will continue the glorious tradition of IADVL and render better services to all the members and to the society at large.
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