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Sunday, April 13, 2014
subject: History of Development of Psychology in India- Sai Kirthi Kamath
History of Development of Psychology in India
It was during the British period that education was given emphasis for the Indians. Psychology was a stream that was embedded in Philosophy. Since there was a lot of western influence on the psychologists in India, they became more western in their training and orientation.
In India, however the roots of psychology can be traced back to the vast philosophical and religious literature: namely, Vedic and Epic literature.In particular, Vedas, Yoga Sutras, Bhagavad Gita are the Indian sources for analysing various aspects of man's behaviour and mind.It was around that this time that Sri Aurobindo made significant contribution to psychology from the Indian tradition. Psychology was an important part of his voluminous writings. With all these influences and the basic emphasis on education: Psychology as a subject gained a lot of momentum (Mishra and Paranjape,2012).
History of Psychology as a subject:
Psychology was first introduced in Calcutta University in the Department of Philosophy in the year1916.The first generation of psychologists after independence were people from the background of Philosophy. Separate Psychology Departments were largely started between 1940-1960. Brojendra Nath Seal drafted the first syllabus for Experimental Psychology a laboratory for demonstration purpose in 1905. Eleven years later this was upgraded as the first Psychology Department known as the 'The Department of Experimental Psychology'. Mr. Narendra Nath Sengupta was a student of William Wundt and was the first person who chaired the department. Around the same time attempts were made by psychologists to make experimental psychology and psychometric distinctive features of psychology curricula and this process continues even today. Due to this in India Psychology acquired the status of being a science along with biological sciences, faster than the status it has got in the west.
The Indian Psychological association was founded in 1924 and the Indian Journal of Psychology appeared a year later.During this time another significant person was Girendra Shekar Bose, who was inclined towards Psycho analysis and started the Indian Psychoanalytic Society. He was the first person to be awarded a PhD from an Indian University (i.e. Calcutta). He established the Lumbi Park Mental Health Hospital in Calcutta in 1940 and in 1947 brought out the journal 'Samiksha'. The department also started an applied psychology wing in 1938 when Jung, Meyers and Spearman were invited to the Silver Jubilee session on the Indian Science Congress.
Other departments of Psychology were soon established in Mysore and Patna. In 1924 down south, Mr. M.V.Goplswamy was heading the department in Mysore and he was trained in Psychological assessments. In 1946 Psychology was started in university of Patna under two separate wings Experimental Psychology and Department of Applied Psychology.
In 1956, The University Grants Commission was set-up; its responsibility was to provide funds to various universities to start Psychology Departments. Due to this there were 32 departments in Psychology by 1960(this has however increased now).Certain centres also provided advanced studies in Psychology. Soon another changing trend was that psychology was being offered in colleges offering Engineering, Agriculture and in management colleges. A lot of other centres such as NCERT, NIPCCD etc. started applied research in different fields of Psychology.
Several streams are present in Psychology historically we can see how some of them have developed. According to UGC report in 1968, 19 universities offered a course in Clinical Psychology at the Masters level (now a lot more are present). At that time training for Clinical Psychologists was provided in three major centres such as All India Institute of Mental Health in Bangalore (now NIMHANS), Hospital for Mental Disease, Ranchi and Mental Hospital in Calcutta. Around this time Clinical Psychologists also organised an all India Association of their own, and its first convention was held in October 1969, at the All India Institute of Mental Health Bangalore. With regard to Education Psychology, the first college of education was had been established in Madras more than 100years ago. The first time Education Psychology was introduced at the MA level as a paper was in 1961 in the University of Calcutta.
Currently there are about 15000 psychologists in India. Several departments in India are offering it as a subject. The subject and its significance has changed remarkably over the years. A few examples of universities offering Post Graduation and clinical Training have been explained below.
History of Bangalore University for Post-Graduation in Psychology
In Bangalore University in 1974 two specializations emerged one in Clinical Psychology and the other in Industrial Psychology. In 1994 the department had a third specialization called Child Guidance Clinic and it shifted to the Faculty of Science. In the year 2000 an M.Sc. in Psychological Counselling and two specializations in Educational Counselling and Human Resource Management was started. In 2003 the University started offering M.Sc. in Psychology in affiliated colleges apart from the university. In 2006 the department of Psychology at Bangalore University, moved to an independent well designed building. (www.bangaloreuniversity.in, 2014)
History of Clinical Psychology in NIMHANS; the department was started in the year 1954 as the department of Psychology and Human Relations. It is one of the oldest and largest departments in NIMHANS. It is involved in clinical services, human resource Development and research activities. The first training programme was started in 1955 as Diploma in Medical Psychology and the first PhD was started in 1967. Most students were/are trained in Behaviour Therapy, Rehabilitation, De-addiction, Adult and Child Psychiatry.
As a subject whatever has been the various influences in Psychology weather religion or Philosophy, it now stands its ground. It has made its way into most universities and is also offered as a subject in high school.(www.nimhans.karnic.in, 2014)
Dalal, A. K. (2011). A journey back to the roots: Psychology in India. Foundations of Indian Psychology Volume 1: Theories and Concepts, 27.
Jain, A. K. (2005). Psychology in India. The Psychologist, 18(4), 206-208.
Misra, G., & Paranjpe, E. A. C. (2012). Psychology in modern India. InEncyclopedia of the history of psychological theories (pp. 881-892). Springer US.
Singh, A. K. (1991). The comprehensive history of psychology. Motilal Banarsidass Publ..