INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ROBUST STATISTICS 2015 (ICORS 2015)


GENERAL INFORMATION: Kolkata (the erstwhile Calcutta) is one of the largest cities of India, and the largest in eastern India. It is the capital of the state of West Bengal in India. It was the capital of British India up to 1911, when the capital was moved to Delhi. The primary local language is Bengali; English is spoken and understood by the educated people. Kolkata is considered the cultural capital of India. Calcutta University, one of the oldest modern universities of India, was set up here in 1857. Kolkata is considered the cultural capital of India. Mother Teresa made Kolkata her home.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolkata for more information.


AIRPORT: The international airport at Kolkata is called the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (Airport code CCU). The Emirates and the Qatar Airways provide direct connections to Kolkata from the West. The Emirates has two daily flights to Kolkata from Dubai. The other option is to fly in to Delhi or Mumbai and connect to Kolkata. Several airlines fly into Kolkata from the east, including Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines, Dragon Air, Air Asia, and China Eastern Airlines.

The new terminal in Kolkata became operational in 2013. The old domestic and international terminals have been closed since then. The new, modern terminal is a huge improvement over the old one and often surprises return visitors. It is the fifth busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic.

The airport is along the northern border of the city of Kolkata (slightly to the North East). It is about 17 kilometres from the centre of the city, and about 12 kilometres from the Indian Statistical Institute, the venue of ICORS 2015.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netaji_Subhas_Chandra_Bose_International_Airport for more information.

All international visitors to the conference will be picked up at the airport and dropped at their hotel by the conference volunteers if they request the conference organizers for a pick up at icors2015@gmail.com. We request all participants coming to Kolkata on an international flight to exit through gates 4A-4B, and all participants coming to Kolkata on domestic flights to exit through gates 3A-3B.Our volunteers will be right outside the gates with a placard to draw the attention of the incoming guests. [Flights for which the immigration is done in Kolkata, eg. AI 020, even though the flight is coming from another Indian city (like Delhi) are considered international flights, and 4A-4B will be their closest gates]


WEATHER: Kolkata is a city which is located just south of Tropic of Cancer, and overall weather is hot and humid. December and January are the coldest months. Even at its coldest, temperature rarely drops below 10°, and minimum temperature would generally range between 10-12°C. This winter has been comparatively warm, and minimum temperature during the pre-conference week (5-11 January, 2015) has been (or is predicted to be) above 15°C. There is no prediction of any drastic drop in temperature during the conference week.

See http://www.weather-forecast.com/locations/KolKata/forecasts/latest for more information.


CURRENCY AND EXCHANGE RATES: The currency of India is the Indian Rupee (INR). At the present time the exchange rates are approximately 63 INR per USD (or approximately 75 INR per Euro). You will need local money when travelling in the city or buying things from smaller stores. However, most big stores/shops and big restaurants will accept credit cards for payment, as will all big hotels. Although it is not easy to convert foreign currency into local currency in Kolkata (only selected merchants or banks deal in foreign exchange), we do not recommend carrying too much of local money. Generally you can also get local currency from the local ATMs using your credit card and pin. To get an idea of the costs of stuff in INR, the following examples may be helpful. A one pound loaf of bread costs between 20 and 30 INR. A “pre-paid” Taxi-Cab ride from the airport to the Indian Statistical Institute Guest House would be approximately Rs. 250 (about 12 kilometres).

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_rupee for more information.


PRECAUTIONS: In Kolkata (or, for the matter, generally in India) tap water is not drinking water. All standard hotels will supply its guests with bottled drinking water. We recommend that you drink bottled water only. If you are dining in restaurants ask for bottled water (mineral water). Yogurt drinks which are common in many street-side eateries should be avoided because of the unknown quality of water. Tea and coffee are safe, however, because it involves boiled water.

Similarly, we recommend that if you buy fruits in markets, only buy whole fruits, and not fruits which are already cut into pieces. Similarly we recommend that you do not eat salad unless you are surely that the ingredients are freshly cut. If you are staying in the Indian Statistical Institute Guest House, the dining hall will provide freshly cut salad everyday.

Avoid touching or feeding unknown animals. Keep yourself safe from mosquito bites. Sleeping in air-conditioned rooms is usually helpful in this respect.

Be extremely careful when crossing the road on foot in the city.


MEDICAL HELP: The Indian Statistical Institute has two Resident Medical Officers on campus, and you can consult them in any medical emergency. Should you need assistance, get in touch with the conference volunteers.


More information for domestic participants.