From the Director's Desk
NIMHANS has a rich history and a long tradition of excellence and innovation. Year on year, it continues to build on its impressive track record of extraordinary achievements while working towards an exciting future. I am honoured and privileged to serve as the Director of NIMHANS and lead this prestigious institute. The growth of this institute has been propelled over time collectively by our previous Directors and many committed individuals. I am grateful to my predecessor, Prof. B. N. Gangadhar, for his leadership and outstanding contribution to NIMHANS. He pushed the agenda of enhancing patient care services, strengthening human resources in the field of mental health and neurosciences, stimulating and scaling up clinical, behavioural, laboratory and basic science research and supported policies and programmes in several ways; he laid greater emphasis on digitising various activities, especially service delivery components at NIMHANS.
Providing quality care for all our patients—who come from various parts of the country—for a variety of mental, behavioural, neurological and neurosurgical problems has been a major focus of NIMHANS. From its amalgamation from AIIMH and the Mental Hospital in 1974 to a deemed-to-be university; from deemed university to an Institute of National Importance under an act of Parliament in 2013, it has been a journey of steady progress and significant growth for NIMHANS. The advanced facilities of Gamma-Knife, PET MRI, Intra-operative Microscopes, Centralised Laboratory services, new centres for growth in defined areas, creation of new departments, etc. have given succour to the beneficiaries particularly the poor and under-privileged. About 1.24 crore consultations have been carried out since the 1980s, which is a testimony to our commitment to patient care.
Being a leading postgraduate centre of excellence, the institute offers more than 50 specialised courses in a variety of disciplines. The new departments (Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Integrative Medicine and others) and advanced centres of care and innovation like NIMHANS Centre for Well Being, Centre for Public Health, Centre for Psycho-Social Care in Disaster situations, Centre for Consciousness Studies, etc. and other new initiatives have provided greater avenues for teaching, training and human resource development activities at NIMHANS. The entrance and exit examinations of NIMHANS on digitised platforms add credence to its commitment for transparency and quality along with academic progress.
NIMHANS is recognised worldwide for its pioneering research contributions. It currently has collaborations with more than 20 international organisations. Research activities at NIMHANS are well supported by the Government of India and its various ministries and departments. At NIMHANS, research occurs in a seamless manner from the bench to the bedside and from the bedside to the community. The institute has made remarkable contributions in a multitude of areas to bring solutions to both existing and emerging problems confronting Indian society. From addiction to Alzheimer’s; from imaging to intensive care; from brain injury to interventional neuroradiology; from disaster relief to deep brain stimulation; from stroke research to signalling in the brain; from rabies to retroviral infections; from youth mental health to yoga research; from molecular genetics to mindfulness research; from restoration to rehabilitation … the contributions are vast and varied. The number of research projects during the 2019-20 has been 263 including 72 new projects and the number of publications stands at 874, out of which 718 have been published in reputed journals. The citation indices underscore the global scientific contributions of our staff and students (citations received: 85,831 – Scopus; 67,820 – Web of Science; H-index score: 12.45 in Scopus and 11.25 in Web of Science).
Contributions of NIMHANS to national policies and programmes are manifold in the areas of mental health, non-communicable diseases, trauma care, child health, disaster preparedness, telemedicine, etc. by working with partner agencies and the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. Along with strengthening policies, our staff also work with state governments, civil society organizations and local communities in implementing, monitoring, and evaluating health and welfare programmes. Our reach extends beyond the country shores in supporting and scaling up programmes by working with international development partners as well.
The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose significant challenges. The crisis does not seem to have passed and we must gear up for a long haul. I am glad that NIMHANS during this time has come up with innovative solutions to address the challenges. While continuing to excel in service delivery, we have been able to set new standards of care in all spheres of clinical specialities. I take this opportunity to compliment all our staff who, rising up to the manifold challenges, have exhibited remarkable resilience, courage and dedication.
While we continue to chart the growth curve, I seek support from all our partners and co-operation from all my colleagues to work concertedly and keep up the momentum. Across departments and sections of the institute, these difficult times should also be our most productive times. I look forward to continuing this legacy of excellence that has been the hallmark of NIMHANS.
Dr. G. Gururaj