National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences
|Location||Bangalore, Karnataka, India
The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (NIMHANS) is a medical institution located in Bangalore, India. NIMHANS was conferred a deemed university status by the UGC in 1994 and has recently been declared as an Institute of National Importance by an act of parliament. Recent years have seen discussions about opening another NIMHANS at Cuttack. 
- 1 Founding and History
- 2 Organization and administration
- 3 Controversy and Criticism
- 3.1 Increase in Deaths
- 3.2 Criticism Against Juvenile Justice Bill
- 3.3 Disputing Cause of Death of Civil Servant
- 3.4 Detention and Evaluation of Whistleblower
- 3.5 Compelling Producer to Rename Film
- 3.6 Involvement with Aiding Investigative Agency with Interrogation Techniques
- 3.7 Involvement with Suppression of Koodankulam Anti-Nuclear Protests
- 3.8 Refusal to Admit Youth to Intensive Care Unit
- 3.9 Negligence of Hospital Staff Regards Mentally Disabled Man
- 3.10 Involvement in Treatment of Bengal Talent Show Contestant
- 3.11 Criticism of WHO report
- 4 Notable People
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Founding and History
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
National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences is a multidisciplinary Institute for patient care and academic pursuit in the frontier area of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences. The Lunatic Asylum which came into being in the latter part of the 19th Century was renamed as Mental Hospital in 1925 by the erstwhile Government of Mysore. This hospital and All India Institute of Mental Health established in 1954 by Government of India were amalgamated on 27th December 1974, and thus was formed the autonomous National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS). The priority gradiant adopted at the Institute is service, manpower development and research. Multidisciplinary integrated approach is the mainstay of this institute, paving the way to translate the results from the bench to the bedside. On November 14, 1994, NIMHANS has been declared a Deemed University by the University Grants Commission, with academic autonomy. The Institute functions under the direction of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Karnataka. Several National and International funding organisations provide resources for research.
Biophysics, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Human Genetics, Mental Health Education, Clinical Psychology, Neuroanaesthesia, Neurochemistry, Neuroimaging and Interventional Radiology, Neurology, Neuromicrobiology, Neuropathology, Neurophysiology, Neurosurgery, Neurovirology, Nursing, Psychiatric and Neurological Rehabilitation, Psychiatric Social Work, Psychiatry, Psychopharmacology, Speech Pathology & Audiology.
Controversy and Criticism
Increase in Deaths
In its Annual Report for 2013-2014, the institution disclosed that the amount of deaths had increased from 720 in 2011-2012 to 741 in 2013-2014.
Criticism Against Juvenile Justice Bill
Various experts hailing from NIMHANS, in May 2015, lodged criticism against the Juvenile Justice Bill, which was tabled in parliament. Preeti Jacob, from the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, was quoted as saying "Juveniles are less culpable and are much more amenable to rehabilitative efforts and thus should not be transferred to the adult criminal justice system. The assessments that are being proposed in the bill in order to ascertain the mental capacity to commit an offence are arbitrary and unscientific."
Disputing Cause of Death of Civil Servant
In, March, 2015, NIMHANS director commented in news outlets saying that a Civil Servant's cause of death was not suicide.
Detention and Evaluation of Whistleblower
In December 2014, it was reported that a soldier from the Indian Navy was being held in NIMHANS for a month to evaluate whether he was suffering from mental illness, after acting as a whistleblower. After the month long evaluation, NIMHANS concluded that the Navy personnel was not suffering from any mental illness.
Compelling Producer to Rename Film
In February, 2014, NIMHANS approached the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce to complain about a movie to be released with the same name. Although initially, the institution was able to block the release of the film if it was named as such, subsequently, the film-maker was able to launch his film without renaming it, once the Censor Board and KFCC approved the name in its second round.
Involvement with Aiding Investigative Agency with Interrogation Techniques
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.
Involvement with Suppression of Koodankulam Anti-Nuclear Protests
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.
Refusal to Admit Youth to Intensive Care Unit
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.
Negligence of Hospital Staff Regards Mentally Disabled Man
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.
Involvement in Treatment of Bengal Talent Show Contestant
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. 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
Criticism of WHO report
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. However, this remark showed that Mr. Chaturvedi had not read the paper in question, as the actual prevalence of depression in India measured by this study was only 9%. The figure of 36% came from a misinterpretation of the study procedure by the press, which was not corrected by Mr. Chaturvedi.
- 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.
- Professor S.R Chandra, for her extreme clinical acumen, holistic approach and unmatched compassion for patients with utmost simplicity.
- NIMHANS: About Us. Nimhans.kar.nic.in. Retrieved on 2015-05-14.
- Centre to deal anti-nuke mind-set with NIMHANS. Content.ibnlive.in.com. Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
- Demonising anti-nuclear protests. Thedailystar.net (2012-06-15). Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
- Koodankulam counselling for protestors flayed. The New Indian Express (2012-06-20). Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
- Plan to counsel anti-nuclear protesters draws flak. The New Indian Express (2012-06-20). Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
- Youth dies at NIMHANS, family cries foul. The New Indian Express. Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
- Sukhija, Sheetal. (2011-09-28) Patient under 24X7 watch at NIMHANS leaps off terrace. Mid-day.com. Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
- Hope floats as docs work to get Shinjini back on feet - Times Of India. Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com (2008-06-29). Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
- Dubious ethics of TV talent shows. Thehoot.org (2008-04-20). Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
- Shinjini talks, Guv wishes her speedy recovery - Times Of India. Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com (2008-07-02). Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
- Shinjini stable, say doctors - Times Of India. Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com (2008-07-04). Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
- Shekhar Seshadri
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