Joint 5th Global Mental Health Summit (GMHS) and 9th National Bioethics Conference (NBC)

Forum for Medical Ethics Society with Banyan Academy of Leadership In Mental Health (BALM),Chennai ;
Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy (CMHLP), Pune and Sangath

Pre-conference events: Between Nov 15 and Dec 31, 2022
Main Conference: Saturdays, December 3 & 10, 2022 (virtual) & December 17, 2022 (Madras School of Social Work No. 32,CASA Major road,Sulaiman Zackria Avenue,Egmore,Chennai-600008,Tamil Nadu.)

Guidelines for Parallel Session Co-chairs

Sixth National Bioethics Conference on Jan 13, 14 and 15, 2017
@ YASHADA, Baner Road, Pune, MH India

The full program of the 6th National Bioethics Conference will consist of 5 plenaries including an inaugural and a valedictory session. Through these plenaries 13 invited speakers will deliver keynote addresses. The conference has scheduled 35 parallel tracks via which 62 papers will be presented and 19 workshops/symposia will be held. There will be 16 poster presentations.

You will appreciate that we want to organize all these presentations as efficiently and smoothly as possible. Please read these instructions very carefully.

Session plan: Each session will be jointly steered by a pair of co-chairs. They will be responsible for introducing speakers and steering discussion, time keeping and logistics. Co-chairs are requested to connect with each other ahead of time to develop an understanding about distribution of these tasks between them.

The parallel tracks for paper presentation are also 90 minutes long. In the parallel tracks there will be three to four paper presenters. The paper presenters will have 12-15 minutes each to present. The discussion time of about 20-25 minutes is at the end of all presentations. You have about 5 minutes to introduce speakers at the beginning of the session. The co-chairs can comment before, during or post discussion hours.

There will be a rapporteur in each parallel session to document the deliberations. They will connect with you ahead of time introducing themselves to you.

Prior to Your Session

  • Ensure that you have familiarized with the brief bio-sketches (printed in the Conference Abstracts Book under ‘Participant list’) of the paper presenters and the abstracts of their papers which are available in the printed Conference Abstracts Book.
  • You should arrive at the conference room a few minutes prior to the start of the session
  • Concern yourself with the environment - check sound, lights, laser pointer, Power Point presentation. There will be volunteers to assist you in this process.
  • Ask all the speakers in your session to join you on stage - a few minutes before the start of your session. At that time, make needed introductions and help them feel comfortable with the room arrangements.
  • Remind the speakers about the time limits that will be imposed on them. Describe to them the method you will use to notify them when they are nearing their presentation time limit and how you will interrupt them if they have reached the end of their allotted time. (You will be provided with a cue card with a 5 minute warning).

It is up to you as the Session Co-chairs to ensure that ALL speakers receive their allotted time.

When Your Session Begins

  • You only have 5 minutes for the introduction of your session.
  • Make any announcement received from the Conference Organiser.
  • Remind the delegates to switch off their mobile phones.
  • Directly ask members of the audience if they can hear you clearly.
  • Formally announce the beginning of the session. (If needed, politely encourage the audience to settle into their seats and conclude their conversations).
  • Introduce yourselves as Session Co-chairs and give your affiliation.
  • Think about a general introduction to the session. The initial opening of the session by the co-chair should briefly and clearly introduce the framework.
  • Introduce each speaker at the beginning of a presentation - give their affiliation and the title of their talk.
  • Explain the format of the session – that time is allotted for discussions only after all of the presentations have been made at the end of the session and that presenters should not be interrupted with questions while presenting.

During Each Presentation: You must keep track of elapsed time during a presentation. Signal to the speaker when his/her time is almost over. In order to keep the whole session to schedule and to allow time for questions from the audience, keeping the presentations within the allotted time is mandatory to ensure each presenter gets to speak for the allocated time; and time allocated (at least 20-25 mins) for engagement between presenters and audience is not reduced.


  • Start the discussion by announcing that the floor is now open. Suggest that audience members start off before asking a question by giving their name and affiliation; interrupt them to do so if they forget.
  • Microphones will be available in conference rooms for the audience which they can use while asking questions. The microphones will managed by conference volunteers during the session.
  • If there are no questions, the session chair should have one or two questions ready to ask to get the ball rolling.

Closing the Session: When the last speaker's presentation and the Discussion (questions/answers) have concluded, THANK the audience for attending the session and their participation and speakers/presenters for presenting their work.

State that your session is now completed. If you have taken any notes, please hand them over to the rapporteur.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and for your willingness to be a Session Co-chair.

Kind regards,
Conference Co-ordination Committee, 6th NBC