The Department of Psychology, Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) organized a two-day National Seminar on “Health and Wellbeing: Recent Developments and Challenges” from November 12 & 13, 2014 with the purpose of addressing various aspects of health and wellbeing in the contemporary context. Several issues were addressed, deliberated and discussed on the state of health and wellbeing in light of recent events along with the role of psychology in enhancing and maintaining the same in current times.
The Inaugural Session of the Conference was held at 10:30 AM on November 12, 2014 in the FTK-Centre for Information Technology, Conference Hall, Jamia Millia Islamia wherein the Welcome Address was delivered by Prof. Naved Iqbal, Head, Department of Psychology, JMI.
Emphasizing the encouragement, support and inspiration received from the Prof Talat Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor, JMI, Prof Naved Iqbal extended his gratitude to all the sponsors – ICMR, ICSSR, resource persons, delegates, staff, research scholars and students for their valuable contributions. This was followed by the Organizing Secretary, Dr. Sheema Aleem’s address who welcomed the guests. Mentioning the plethora of research papers received for the seminar, she highlighted the need to explore the sensitive indicators of wellbeing in a manner allowing for universal coverage to all the people. She then invited Prof Giriswar Misra, Vice Chancellor, M G. A. H. H. University, to release the Seminar dossier and the edited volume of papers.
Prof Misra, an eminent scholar in the field of psychology with several accolades to his name, shared his views on future of psychology. This was followed by Inaugural Remarks by Prof. Talat Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia. Acknowledging the efforts of experts from across the country, he emphasized the need for an interdisciplinary approach. Closing remarks were delivered by Prof M. Shafiq, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. Underlining the need for more experimental studies in psychology, he highlighted the significance of thought and thinking for the wellbeing of an individual. Expressing gratitude to the guests on the dais, his colleagues, delegates and other participants, he concluded with an inspirational Urdu couplet.
Eminent scholars presented Invited Lectures covering different aspects of health and wellbeing in the current context in India. The first session was chaired by Prof. Giriswar Misra during which, Prof. Anand Prakash, spoke about the pursuit of control that leads to stress in the current days, which is overcome by spiritual surrender by some people. Prof. Akbar Hussain, Professor Department of Psychology, Aligarh Muslim University, then proposed a model of wellbeing, the dimensions of which were culled out of an anagram: Wellbeing – Will-to-meaning, Empathy, lifestyle, love, belief, Enlightenment, Inner-resource, Neural-substrates, and Gratitude. Prof. Rajbir Singh, Department of Psychology, MD University, Rohtak then presented his ideas on happiness as the key to good health as perceived by villagers’ arrived at as a result of empirical studies, while highlighting the American influence on health and wellbeing issues.
The second session was chaired by Prof. Naved Iqbal, during which Prof. Purnima Singh, Professor, Department of Psychology, IIT, Delhi spoke about social wellbeing. This was followed by a lecture by Prof Gopa Bhardwaj, retired Professor, Delhi University, who highlighted the need to explore aspects of health and wellbeing from the perspective of women and the socially disadvantaged. Prof. Upesh Kumar, Head Defense Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR), then threw light on the contribution of transformational leadership to wellbeing of employees. The third session was chaired by Prof Ashok Srivastava, Head of Planning and publications, NCERT, Delhi during which Prof. Vinay Srivastava, Head Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi shared poignant views on ethno-cultural factors imperative to survival, health and wellbeing of communities around the globe. Following this Dr. Arvind Kumar Mishra, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi questioned the application of Western conceptualizations in Indian context, entreating researchers to conduct more indigenous studies. The chairpersons poignantly summarized the lectures at the end of each session.
Twelve concurrent scientific sessions exploring diverse themes, few of which are: wellbeing in educational context; organizational behavior and wellbeing; physical health; health and wellbeing in specific groups; context sensitive models / indigenous therapies / interventions and so on. These sessions were chaired by eminent scholars from the field. Various speakers from different parts of India presented their academic work. The sessions were quite insightful for all the participants and delegates attending the session. Repertoire included theoretical papers, critical reviews of literature, as well as qualitative and quantitative studies exploring various aspects of health and wellbeing among diverse groups of people. The Chairpersons of the sessions meaningfully concluded the sessions, tying together the various presentations.
The Valedictory Session of the Seminar was held at 3:45 PM on November 13, 2014 in the Conference Hall of FTK-Centre for Information Technology, JMI with Prof. N. K. Chadha, Professor, Department of Psychology, Delhi University, as Guest of Honor. The Seminar Report was presented by the Organizing Secretary, Dr. Sheema Aleem. Prof. Chadha delivered the Valedictory remarks and shared his rich experience and encouraged the delegates and students to go further and publish their research work so that such novel research will be shared with the larger world. Prof. M. Shafiq, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, JMI, presented the closing remarks accentuating the importance to cultivate an attitude of forgiveness in daily life to achieve and maintain higher levels of health and wellbeing. The seminar concluded with a vote of thanks delivered by Prof. Naveed Iqbal, bringing the illuminating two day seminar to an end.
[This is an official Jamia Millia Islamia press release dated Nov. 14, 2014]