The Institute has primarily two activities aimed at promotion and advancement of geographical knowledge; its annual conferences and the publication of its journal – the ‘Transactions of the Institute of Indian Geographers’.
The Annual Conferences and Seminars – Right since the inception of the Institute, conferences have been held every year. During the first three years of the establishment of the Institute conferences on a modest scale were held at Pune. The First conference of 1980 was a one-day affair where teacher from the university department and local colleges presented their papers. The Second conference in 1981 was a two day affair and started with an invited lecture by Professor H. D. Sankalia, a very distinguished archaeologist and the Director of Deccan College. The third conference of the IIG was a two day full fledged conference (7th & 8th Feb 1982) attended by 146 delegates. Professor S. C. Gupte was the Convener. Besides the delegates from Pune, Bombay and Kolhapur region, there were delegates from U.P., West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Karnataka and M.P.
A definite pattern was set from the fourth conference of the IIG that was hosted by Shivaji University, Kolhapur, with Professor S. D. Shinde as the convener. This was a three day conference held on 11, 12&13th Feb 1983. The focal theme was ‘Sugarcane Cultivation and Sugar Industry’.
The rest is all history following a set pattern. The conferences thereafter regularly were a three day conference. One must add that the Fifth conference held at Ahmedabad, with Prof. Anjana Desai as the Convener was unique in many ways. It attracted around 300 delegates, the largest number from W. Bengal as a result of the personal interest taken by Dr. Anjana Desai. A few other memorable conferences that linger in our minds are the one at Raipur, hosted by Pt. Ravi Shankar Shukla University, with Prof H. S. Gupta as the convener, and the other at Shillong hosted by NEHU where the TRIO of Professors Surendra Singh, Prof Nayak and Prof. Mipun put in their best efforts, and for the first time the IIG had a good representation from the North-East, but a large number of delegates came even from Bangladesh. Conference at Varanasi, in the Silver Jubilee Year of the IIG, was organised in a most systematic way. Prof D. N. Singh the Convener of the Conference has the unique distinction of producing the Silver Jubilee Volume of the IIG based on the focal theme of the conference, viz. ‘Water Crisis and Sustainable Management’. The other conference that comes to mind was one at Shanti Niketan with the late Professor Arbind Biswas and Prof V.C Jha at the helm of the affairs. This conference attracted scientists from many other allied disciplines. Prof. V.C Jha has brought out the proceedings in a volume on ‘Land Degradation’, the focal theme of the Conference.
The emphasis on some of these conferences does not imply that other conferences were not well organised. All the conveners put in their best efforts to organise the conference in a most appropriate way, often with regional flavours, in their hospitality and choice of focal themes. The IIG is ever grateful to all the Presidents and Conveners of the Meet which include Prof. R.P. Misra, Prof. Indra Pal, Prof. N.K.P.Sinha, Dr. P Nag, Prof. N.B.K.Reddy, Prof, Gopalakrishnan, Prof. V.Rangaswami, Prof. Gopal Krishan, Prof. Chandna and Prof. S.Mehta, and Prof P. H. Anand.
Seminars: Though the IIG encourages regional seminars, so far only three seminars were held -one at Bilaspur convened by Dr. Manju Mitra in 1993, on ‘Tribals in Contemporary India’, the second at Pune conducted by Professor K. R. Dikshit on ‘Managing the Urban Fringe of Indian Cities’ in November 2002 and the third in Margao, convened by Dr. Nandkumar Sawant on ‘Globalisation: Issues and Challenges in India’ in October 2007.
The Silver Jubilee of the Institute was celebrated on the Foundation Day of 2004. The function was organised by Prof. V. S. Kale the then head of the Department of Geography, University of Pune. It was a large gathering that included many Founder Members, with a special lecture by Prof. V. S. Phadke from Mumbai on urbanisation.
Transactions Institute of Indian Geographers – In its second meeting held on 11th March, 1979, the Governing Council of the IIG took a decision to bring out a half-yearly journal to be named ‘Transactions of the Institute of Indian Geographers’. It was a decision of great consequence as it meant a journal published in the days when many had perished for want of finance and adequate logistic support. The need for publishing a journal far outweighed the possible difficulties in the mind of the Council. Prof. K. R. Dikshit was nominated its editor and was assigned the job of bringing out the journal. The format of the journal, its periodicity and some of the technical details were also decided in the same meeting. To assist the editor an editorial committee comprising Dr. S. C. Gupte, Shri V. S. Datye and Dr. Ms. Jutta K. Dikshit was constituted. The first issue of the journal was ceremoniously released at a largely attended function in the Shivaji Sabhagriha of the University, on 27th July 1979, at the hands of the late Dr. G. S. Mahajani, a well known educationist and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Pune. Since then the ‘Transactions’ has witnessed thirty-two years of uninterrupted publication. So far the Journal has been edited by four professors, viz. Professor K. R. Dikshit, Professor S. C. Gupte, Professor Jaymala Diddee and presently by Prof. S. R. Jog. The difficulties faced by all the editors remain the same. The IIG is grateful to all the editors for doing their job to the best of their ability.