History of Indian Psychiatric Society

History of Indian Psychiatric Society

Emblem of The Office of President


The Indian Psychiatric Society was founded on 7th January 1947 in New Delhi at a meeting convened by Major R B Davis during the Indian Science Congress. The original 15 founder members included Major R B Davis, Superintendent European Mental Hospital , Ranchi; Lt Col J E Dhunjibhoy, Superintendent Indian Mental hospital, Ranchi; Dr S A Hasib, Patna; Lt Col  R M Lloyd Still, Superintendent Mental Hospital , Lahore; Dr C Kenton, Adviser in Psychiatry, Government of India; Major M H Shah; Dr D J Walterson; Dr N N De, Calcutta; Dr  A S Johnson, Madras; Dr R S Lal, Superintendent Mental Hospital Agra; Prof H D Maiti; Lt Col R J Rosie, Commanding Officer 41 British General Hospital ; Lt Col  E T N Taylor; Dr M V Govindaswamy  and Dr K R Masani.

There were two earlier attempts to form association of psychiatrists in India.  The Indian Association of Mental Hygiene was formed in 1929 at the initiative of Colonel Berkley Hill in 1929 which ceased to function after a few years and  the Indian division of the Royal Medico Psychological  Association ( RMPA) formed in 1939 at the initiative of Dr Banarasi Das. The Indian division of RMPA was dissolved after the formation of Indian Psychiatric Society.

Lt Col J E Dhunjibhoy was the first president of the Indian Psychiatric Society. Major R B Davis was elected as the first Secretary and Treasurer. As Lt Col Dhunjibhoy shifted to Pakistan after partition his place was taken over by Dr N N De.  The first National Conference of the society was held at Patna in January 1948. The Society held its first Annual Genral Meeting on 2nd January 1948 during the Annual Conference at Patna under the Presidentship of Dr N N De. The closing balance in the accounts was Rupees Eight Hundred Twenty Three one Anna and Paise Nineteen only! At the Executive Council meeting on 9th September 1948 it was decided to name the official publication as Indian Journal of Neurology and Psychiatry. Dr N N De was the first editor of the journal. The journal was subsequently named as Indian Journal of Psychiatry.

The Society was registered at Patna on 30 December 1948 under the Societies Act XXI of 1860. The Memorandum of Association had ten members who included Dr N N De of Calcutta, Dr J Roy of Calcutta, Major R B Davis of Ranchi, Lt Col  J E Dhunjibhoy of Karachi, Dr J A Kasit of Karachi,  Lt Col R M Lloyd Still of Lahore,  Dr K R Masani of Bombay, Dr K V Govindaswamy of Banglore, Dr R S  Lal of Agra and Dr J Dhairyam of Madras.

The annual conferences of the Society are being held regularly every year except in the year 1963 due to national emergency. Dr C C Saha who was president for the year 1962 continued as president for the year 1963 also.  Col Kirpal Singh (1959, 1968) and Dr K C Dube (1953, 1966) also held the post of president twice. The Emblem of the Office of President was donated by Colonel (later Major General) P N Bardhan in 1960.


From the humble beginning of 15 members the Society has grown into one of the biggest psychiatric societies of the world with a membership of more than 5500 members. The society moved to its headquarters in Gurgaon (now Gurugram) in 2012. 


The Logo

The circle depicts the mandala – wholeness, the wheel-eternal cycle or eternity, also process. The Urn is the Urn of knowledge, also signifies the Yin-Yang principle, the mirror image denoting unity behind all apparent duality. The staff and the entwined snakes are universal medical symbols. Our motto is “Prasanti” – Peace, Calmness.


Objectives to IPS:

The Objectives of the Indian Psychiatric Society are to:

  • Promote and advance the subject of Psychiatry and allied sciences in all their different branches.
  • Promote the improvement of the mental health of the people and mental health education.
  • Promote prevention, control, treatment and relief of all psychiatric disabilities.
  • Formulate and advise on the standards of education and training for medical and auxiliary personnel in psychiatry and to recommend adequate teaching facilities for the purpose.
  • Promote research in the field of psychiatry and mental health. Propagate the principles of psychiatry and current development in psychiatric thought.
  • Deal with any matters relating to mental health concerning the country and to do all other things as are cognate to the subjects of the Indian Psychiatric Society.
  • Safeguard the interest of Psychiatrists and fellow professionals in India.
  • Promote ethical standards in the practice of psychiatry in India