The IPS was founded on 7th January 1947, during the Indian Science Congress meeting held in New Delhi.
The Indian Journal of Psychiatry began in 1949 as the Indian Journal of Neurology and Psychiatry.
Between 1975 & 1978, five IPS Zones were formed, which have flourished over time.
The first National Conference of the society was held at Patna in January 1948.
The IPS began in 1947 with 15 founder members and has now grown to a membership of above 7000 specialists. The IPS currently represents the largest society of mental health professionals in India & works on health advocacy, social activism, policy formulation & medical research in the field of mental health.
- Years of social activism: 75years
- Zones & branches: 24
- IPS Membership: 7210+
- Online members till March 2023: 3593
- Online Site Visitors Per Day in 2023: 25.8K
A Brief History of IPS
The Indian Psychiatric Society, the national organization of psychiatrists in India, was founded on 7th January 1947 during the Indian Science Congress meeting held in New Delhi.
The organization holds its origins in 1929 when Col Berkley Hill founded The Indian Association of Mental Hygiene affiliated to the National Council for Mental Hygiene in Great Britain which ceased to function after a few years. Later the Indian division of the Royal Medico Psychological Association (RMPA) was formed in 1939 at the initiative of Dr. Banarasi Das.The PMPA continued to function till 1947.
In a meeting on the 7th of January, at the Indian Science Congress, attended by 13 IPS members, the decision to form the Indian Psychiatric Society and to dissolve the Indian division of the RMPS was taken.
Members present at the 34th ISC, Delhi, 1947: Major R.B. Davis, Dr. N.N. De, Lt. Col. J.E. Dhunjibhoy, Dr. A.S. Johnson, Dr. S.A. Hasib, Dr. R.S. Lal, Lt. Col. R.M. Lloyd Still, Prof. H.P. Maiti, Dr. C. Kenton, Lt. Col. R.J. Rosie, Major M.H. Shah, Lt. Col. E.T.N. Taylor & Dr. D.J. Walterson.
Dr. M.V. Govindaswamy & Dr. K.R. Masani although not personally present at the congress, additionally endorsed the decision. Lt. Col. J.E. Dhunjibhoy, the first superintendent of Ranchi Indian Mental Hospital, was elected President of the Society at the conference. Dr. Dhunjibhoy, however was temporary posted to the Bengal province and in 1947, just before independence, he was called back to the Bombay province and was posted to Karachi, Pakistan. After independence he settled in Karachi and later resigned as a Fellow of the IPS in 1950. Dr. Robert Brockelesby Davis, the then Medical Superintendent to European Mental Hospital in Ranchi, was the first secretary and treasurer of the association. Dr RB Davis continued to hold both the posts for the next eight years till 1954. In 1955, he left the European Mental Hospital and established the Kishore Nursing Home named after his friend Maharaj Kumar Raj Kishore Shahdeo, which eventually became the Davis Institute of Neuropsychiatry.
The Pioneers of IPS
Mrs Shirin V Dhunjibhoy and Lt. Col. JE Dhunjibhoy, Superintendent, Ranchi Indian Mental Hospital 1925-1941.
Dr Banarsi Das, became the superintendent of the mental hospital of Agra in 1935 in British India.
Early life image of Dr. Robert Brockelesby Davis from the Davis family archives
Dr Nagendra Nath De, President & First Editor of the IPS.
Dr LP Varma - Editor of Indian Journal Neurology and Psychiatry from 1951-1954.
Major General P.N. Bardhan - First editor of IJP (Editor:1958-1960)
All photographs restored using AI Image Upscale & AI Colorize.
On 2nd January 1948, the first Annual General Body Meeting of the Society was held at Patna, with Dr. N.N. De as the President and Editor and with Dr. R.B. Davis as Secretary and Treasurer of the Association. The meeting was attended by 10 fellows of the society, and the constitution and bylaws of IPS were formed and approved at the meeting. The society was finally registered on 30th December 1948 at Patna, making IPS the 4th oldest professional organization of the nation.
The Indian Psychiatric Society held its second annual meeting at Allahabad on 1st and 2nd January of 1949, again in conjunction with the Indian Science Congress. Dr. J. Roy, the elected president of IPS, proposed a quarterly journal of the Society, in line with the scope and standards of European Journals. The first issue of the “Indian Journal of Neurology and Psychiatry” was published from Calcutta (Kolkata) and contained the directory of the office bearers and members as a supplement, along with proceedings of the annual conference of the IPS. The first editor and the first ‘acting’ president of the association, Dr NN De hailed from the Burdwan district of Bengal and continued to helm the Indian Journal of Neurology and Psychiatry as editor till 1951. After Dr De stepped down due to ill health, the editorship passed on to Dr LP Verma, the first assistant superintendent of the Indian Mental Hospital, Ranchi.
The IPS Logo
The Emblem of the Office of President was donated by Major General PN Bardhan in 1960. Dr Bardhan was the elected as the president of the IPS in 1959-1960; and the Emblem of the Office of President was presented to the incoming president Dr KR Masani, as a token “of his high regard and esteem for the society”. The circle depicts the mandala or the potter’s wheel – a symbol of wholeness, cycle or eternity and process. The twelve columns represent the months of the year and the zodiac, while the Urn represents knowledge. The staff of Aesculapius and the entwined snakes of the emblem represent the universal medical symbols of life and death. Written at the head the word “Prashanti” “envisages serenity, a richness and depth of emotional tones, completely under control, culminating in tranquility in the midst of turmoil.” The motto of the emblem is “Sic transit gloria mundi”, a Latin phrase meaning “Thus passes worldly glory”, suggesting the passing of the power from one president to another.
- 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.
The Indian Journal of Neurology & Psychiatry stopped publication after 1954, with the last issue of Indian Journal of Neurology and Psychiatry being Vol. 5, Issue 1; published under the editorship of Dr. MV Govindaswamy (1954-1958). A significant lack of manpower, with only around 80 psychiatrists in the country, and a lack of funds resulted in the demise of the journal.
At the annual meeting of the IPS in 1958 at Poona under the chairmanship of I.K. Mujawar, a council under M. V. Govindaswamy was formed to undertake the necessary actions for resumption of the Journal. Finally, in October 1958, the first issue of the “Indian Journal of Psychiatry” was printed, under the editorship of Major General P.N. Bardhan (Editor:1958-1960) (Vol. 1, No. 1).
Dr Bardhan, in the very first editorial of the IJP, commented, “The first series was called Indian Journal of Neurology and Psychiatry and there is significance in the change of the name of the journal. Both neurology and psychiatry are major specialties in their own right, and a separate journal could easily be devoted to each… the field of psychiatry in this country is very vast and ever expanding. Therefore, to justify its existence, this journal must represent the experience and progress in every branch of psychiatry”.
The IPS was registered on 30th December 1948 at Patna, making IPS the 4th oldest professional organization of the nation. The certificate also shows that the membership fees was 50 rupees for the association. In 2020, through the efforts of the then Hon. Secretary General, Dr Vinay Kumar, an original copy of the certificate was retrieved from the Archieves of the Government of Bihar.
Since 1948, the IPS has functioned continuously in upholding the objectives of the society of promoting and advancing the subject of Psychiatry and improving of the mental health of the people. The annual conferences of the Society have also been held regularly every year, except in the year 1963 when the meeting could not take place due to national emergency. Memorable of these annual conferences are that of December 1951, at Ranchi and was inaugurated by Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, Health Minister, Government of India, and was attended by Prof. W. Meyer-Gross, who was deputed to the Govt. of India by the World Health Organization.
The IPS Congress at Nagpur in 1976 was blessed by the presence of Acharya Vinoba Bhave, an eminent advocate of nonviolence and the spiritual successor of MK Gandhi. The meeting of 1978 in AIIMS was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister of India, Shri Morarji Desai and was also the first World Psychiatric Association (WPA) Regional Meeting in India.
The Early Office Bearers
Documented record of the early office bearers of the IPS, from a 1964 article of LP Varma and JS Neki.
Between 1975 and 1978, five Zones of the Indian Psychiatric Society were established, and constitutional amendments were caried out to provide zonal representation in the IPS Executive council. Similarly, the Marfatia Award, Bhagwat Award and Dr DLN Murty Rao Oration Awards were the earliest instituted awards of the society and were started in 1978-79, at Poona.
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 7000 members. The society inaugurated its permanent headquarters in Gurgaon (now Gurugram) in 2012 to maintain continuity of functioning. The society has shown signs of vitality and stability for the last many years now and holds a promise for an even better future.
The society has shown signs of vitality and stability for the last many years now and holds a promise for an even better future.
Archieve of Past Office Bearers & ANCIPS
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Sharma, S., 2010. History of Indian Psychiatric Society. Indian J. Psychiatry 52, 13.
Vachha, M.R., 1961. The New Symbol – Sic Transit Gloria Mundi. Indian J. Psychiatry 3, 72.
Verma LP, Neki JS., 1964. A Historical Note. Indian J. Psychiatry 6, 48–50.