National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences

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National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences
  • 1925 as Mental Hospital,[1]
  • 27 December 1974 as NIMHANS
Type Public
Location Bangalore, Karnataka, India
12°56′22.4″N 77°35′55.7″E / 12.939556°N 77.598806°E / 12.939556; 77.598806Coordinates: 12°56′22.4″N 77°35′55.7″E / 12.939556°N 77.598806°E / 12.939556; 77.598806
Campus Urban
Website Official Website

The National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), located in Bangalore, is a noted mental hospital which carries research in psychiatry, neuroscience and psychology while simultaneously engaging in clinical work in those areas. NIMHANS was conferred a deemed university status by the UGC in 1994. Recently, it has been recognised by the MHRD as an Institute of National Importance.

Founding and History[edit]

NIMHANS, a multidisciplinary central government institute in the field of mental health and neurosciences, was the result of the amalgamation of the erstwhile mental hospital and the All India Institute of Mental Health on 27 December 1974. The Institute was Inaugurated by Dr. Karan Singh, the union minister for Health and Family Planning, establishing this autonomous body under the Societies Registration Act into a leading area of medical service and research in the country. The lunatic asylum which came into being in the later part of the 19th century established by the Government of India, was renamed as the Mental Hospital in 1925 by the Government of Mysore. In 1954, the All India Institute of Mental Health was established which, in 1974, became an autonomous Institute called NIMHANS.

Organization and administration[edit]

The functioning of the Institute is under the direction of the NIMHANS society with the Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare as the President. The Principal organ of management is the Board of Management. The other statutory bodies are Finance Committee, Academic Committee, Ethics Committee, Building and Works Committee and Rehabilitation Committee. The Institute is funded by central government and several other national and international agencies like ICMR, DST, UGC, CSIR, WHO, Oxfam, Alcoholics Anonymous, UNICEF are other charities resources.


Department of Psychiatry[edit]

NIMHANS is noted for its Psychiatry department which incorporates:

  • Child Psychiatry
  • De-addiction services
  • Geriatric Psychiatry
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Clinic
  • Perinatal Clinic
  • Tobacco Cessation Clinic
  • Metabolic Clinic
  • Prenatal Nutrition and Cookery Clinic
  • Community Mental Health Services

Controversy and Criticism[edit]

Involvement with Aiding Investigative Agency with Interrogation Techniques[edit]

In July, 2013, NIMHANS came under controversy when it was revealed by Times of India that it was collaborating with the Central Bureau of Investigation to train its staff with interrogation techniques.[2]

Involvement with Suppression of Koodankulam Anti-Nuclear Protests[edit]

It was reported by prominent news sources that the Central Government has approached NIMHANS to suppress anti-nuclear protests regards to building of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant. The government asked NIMHANS to dispatch psychiatrists to Kudankulam to counsel protesters. To fulfill the plan, NIMHANS developed a team of 6 members, all of them, from the Department of Social Psychiatry. The psychiatrists were sent to get a "peek a into the protesters' minds" and help them learn the importance of the plant according to one news source.[3][4][5][6][7]

Refusal to Admit Youth to Intensive Care Unit[edit]

The New Indian Express reported that the family of a 21 year old individual who died in NIMHANS, complained that, their requests for him being admitted to the ICU, due to his worsening condition, was declined by the staff. The youth, later died, after his condition started to deteriorate.[8]

Negligence of Hospital Staff Regards Mentally Disabled Man[edit]

A mentally retarded man who was admitted in NIMHANS for treatment was found to have leaped from the terrace of a building. It was reported that he was under round the clock supervision, but escaped without notice. He was found lying in a pool of blood, and was taken to the Emergency Section of the Hospital.[9]

Involvement in Treatment of Bengal Talent Show Contestant[edit]

In 2008, a reality show contestant, Shinjini Sen, after getting reprimanded by the TV show judges, resulted in temporarily losing her voice, and physical mobility. It was alleged by the media that the television show judges' behaviour caused such disability. To resolve her case, she was flown from Kolkata to Bangalore's NIMHANS to be treated for a neurobiological condition.[10][11][12][13] The then medical superintendent told the press:

We can say at this juncture that she could be suffering from depression. Depression does not lead to permanent loss of speech or physical disability. We are diagnosing why that has happened. There could be complex neurological factors leading to such conditions.

—Dr B N Gangadhar, Times Of India[12]

Criticism of WHO report[edit]

In August, 2011, NIMHANS faculty criticized a report published by the World Health Organization. The head of the psychiatry department, S K Chaturvedi, said that the figures by the WHO was highly inflated. Where, in the report, it alleges that 36% of Indians suffer from Depression, the highest among all the countries, the NIMHANS faculty state that the incidence of depression is much lower due to a stronger social support system and family structure.[14]

Notable People[edit]

  • Chittaranjan Andrade, winner of Ig Nobel prize in Public Health[15]
  • Shekhar Seshadri[16]
  • Professor P Satish chandra, Current Director and well known neurologist
  • Professor A B Taly, who is currently leading unit II of neurology
  • Professor Nalini, who is the current Head of the department of neurology and well known neuro-muscular disorder specialist
  • Professor Emeritus S.K Shankar, neuropathologist who co authored human proteome draft.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ NIMHANS: About Us. Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Centre to deal anti-nuke mind-set with NIMHANS. Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Demonising anti-nuclear protests. (2012-06-15). Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
  6. ^ Koodankulam counselling for protestors flayed. The New Indian Express (2012-06-20). Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
  7. ^ Plan to counsel anti-nuclear protesters draws flak. The New Indian Express (2012-06-20). Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
  8. ^ Youth dies at NIMHANS, family cries foul. The New Indian Express. Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
  9. ^ Sukhija, Sheetal. (2011-09-28) Patient under 24X7 watch at NIMHANS leaps off terrace. Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
  10. ^ Hope floats as docs work to get Shinjini back on feet - Times Of India. (2008-06-29). Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
  11. ^ Dubious ethics of TV talent shows. (2008-04-20). Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
  12. ^ a b Shinjini talks, Guv wishes her speedy recovery - Times Of India. (2008-07-02). Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
  13. ^ Shinjini stable, say doctors - Times Of India. (2008-07-04). Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Shekhar Seshadri

External links[edit]