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National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences

The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences is a medical institution located in Bangalore, India. Established in 1925, NIMHANS, the apex centre for mental health and neuroscience education in the country, operates autonomously under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.[4]

National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences
Official insignia of the NIMHANS[1]
Mottoसमत्वं योग उच्यते (Sanskrit)
TypeInstitute of National Importance
  • 1847 as Lunatic Asylum[2]
  • 1925 as Mental Hospital,
  • 27 December 1974 as NIMHANS
DirectorProf. B.N. Gangadhar
Location, ,
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
Campus174 acres (700,000 m2)
Urban[3] [note 1]
MascotWhite Swan


Founding and historyEdit

The history of the institute dates back to 1847, when the Bangalore Lunatic Asylum was founded. In 1925, the Government of Mysore rechristened the asylum as the Mental Hospital. The Mysore Government Mental Hospital became the first institute in India for postgraduate training in psychiatry.[5]

The National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) was the result of the amalgamation of the erstwhile State Mental Hospital and the All India Institute of Mental Health (AIIMH) established by the Government of India in 1954. The institute was inaugurated on 27 December 1974, establishing it as an autonomous body under the Societies Registration Act to lead in the area of medical service and research in the country.

On 14 November 1994, NIMHANS was conferred a deemed university status by the University Grants Commission with academic autonomy. The institute has been declared as an Institute of National Importance by an act of parliament in 2012.[6] In March 2017, the Government of India passed the Mental Healthcare Bill 2016, which also proposes to set up NIMHANS-like institutions across the nation.[7][8][9]

Organization and administrationEdit

Directors of the AIIMH/NIMHANS[10]
  • Dr. M V Govindaswamy (1954–59)
  • Dr. D L N Murti Rao (1960–62)
  • Dr. B D Punekar (1963)
  • Dr. Keki Masani (1963–64)
  • Dr. N C Surya (1965–68)
  • Dr. K Bhaskaran (1969)
  • Dr. R Martanda Varma (1969–77)
  • Dr. K S Mani (1977–78)
  • Dr. R Martanda Varma (1978–79)
  • Dr. G N Narayana Reddy (1979–89)
  • Dr. S M Channabasavanna (1989–97)
  • Dr. M Gourie-Devi (1997–2002)
  • Dr. D Nagaraja (2002–10)
  • Dr. SK Shankar (2010)
  • Dr. P Satish Chandra (2010–15)
  • Dr. B.N. Gangadhar 2016 – present[11]
National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences

The National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences is a multidisciplinary institute for patient care and academic pursuit in the frontier area of mental health and neuro sciences. The priority gradient adopted at the Institute is service, manpower development and research. A multidisciplinary integrated approach is the mainstay of this institute, paving the way to translate the results from the bench to the bedside. Several national and international funding organisations provide resources for academic and research activities.



  • Advanced Centre for Ayurveda
  • Center for Public Health
  • Central Animal Research Facility
  • Centre for Addiction Medicine
  • Library and Information Centre
  • Magnetoencephalography (MEG) Centre
  • Neurobiology Research Centre (NRC)
  • NIMHANS Centre for Well Being
  • Advanced Centre for Yoga
  • Sakalwara Community Mental Health Centre
  • Virtual Learning Centre (VLC)
  • WHO Collaborating Centre for Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion

Controversy and criticismEdit

  • 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."[12][13][14]
  • 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 person was not suffering from any mental illness.[15][16]
  • Disputing cause of death of civil servant: In March, 2015, NIMHANS's director commented in news outlets saying that a civil servant's cause of death was not suicide.[17]
  • 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.[18]
  • 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.[19]
  • Involvement with suppression of Koodankulam anti-nuclear protests: It was reported by prominent news sources that the central government approached NIMHANS to suppress anti-nuclear protests in 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 six 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.[20][21][22][23][24]
  • 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 request 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.[25]
  • Negligence of hospital staff regarding mentally disabled man: An intellectually disabled 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.[26]
  • Involvement in treatment of Bengal talent show contestant: In 2008, a reality show contestant, Shinjini Sen, after getting reprimanded by the TV show judges, temporarily lost 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.[27][28][29][30] 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[29]
  • 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 were 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.[31] However, the lifetime prevalence of depression in India measured by the study was only 9%, and the figure of 36% was a different metric[32] that was mistakenly reported as the prevalence rate by some media houses.[citation needed]

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ Total area of the institute includes 144 acres of the existing campuses and 30 acres of land acquired for the construction of Bangalore north campus


  1. ^
  2. ^ History and Milestones.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Speeches Detail - The President of India". Retrieved 17 May 2017.
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  6. ^ "PRS - Bill Track - The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, Bangalore Bill, 2010". Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  7. ^ IANS (8 April 2017). "Govt to set up NIMHANS-like institutes; every 20th Indian depressed: Nadda". Retrieved 17 May 2017 – via Business Standard.
  8. ^ "NIMHANS-like institute proposed for Vadodara - Times of India". Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  9. ^ "Odisha seeks a NIMHANS like institution in Cuttack - The Economic Times". Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Past Directors". Nimhans. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Legal experts express concern over Juvenile Justice Bill". Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  13. ^ Ramakrishnan, Arlene Manoharan, Swagata Raha, amp, Shruthi. "Juveniles need reform, not prison". Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  14. ^ "Opinion: The Danger of Treating Children As Adults". Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  15. ^ "Navy Sailor not Suffering from Mental Illness: Nimhans". Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  16. ^ "Nimhans report gives clean chit to 'whistleblower' sailor - Times of India". Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  17. ^ "Civil Servants Don't Easily Kill Selves: Psychiatrists". Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  18. ^ "After a one-year fight, Nimhans gets stay on film name - Bangalore Mirror -". Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  19. ^ "NIMHANS to train CBI in grilling bigshots - Times of India". Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  20. ^ "Centre to deal anti-nuke mind-set with NIMHANS. Retrieved on 2013-10-09".
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-07. Retrieved 2015-06-15.
  22. ^ "Demonising anti-nuclear protests". 15 June 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  23. ^ Koodankulam counselling for protestors flayed. The New Indian Express (2012-06-20). Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
  24. ^ Plan to counsel anti-nuclear protesters draws flak. The New Indian Express (2012-06-20). Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
  25. ^ Youth dies at NIMHANS, family cries foul. The New Indian Express. Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
  26. ^ Sukhija, Sheetal. (2011-09-28) Patient under 24X7 watch at NIMHANS leaps off terrace. Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
  27. ^ Hope floats as docs work to get Shinjini back on feet – Times Of India. (2008-06-29). Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
  28. ^ Dubious ethics of TV talent shows. (2008-04-20). Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
  29. ^ a b Shinjini talks, Guv wishes her speedy recovery – Times Of India. (2008-07-02). Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
  30. ^ Shinjini stable, say doctors – Times Of India. (2008-07-04). Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
  31. ^ "NIMHANS Criticizes WHO's Report Claiming India A 'Depressed Nation' - French Tribune". Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  32. ^ Bromet, Evelyn; Andrade, Laura Helena; Hwang, Irving; Sampson, Nancy A.; Alonso, Jordi; Girolamo, Giovanni de; Graaf, Ron de; Demyttenaere, Koen; Hu, Chiyi; Iwata, Noboru; Karam, Aimee N.; Kaur, Jagdish; Kostyuchenko, Stanislav; Lépine, Jean-Pierre; Levinson, Daphna; Matschinger, Herbert; Mora, Maria Elena Medina; Browne, Mark Oakley; Posada-Villa, Jose; Viana, Maria Carmen; Williams, David R.; Kessler, Ronald C. (26 July 2011). "Cross-national epidemiology of DSM-IV major depressive episode". BMC Medicine. 9 (1): 90. doi:10.1186/1741-7015-9-90. PMC 3163615. PMID 21791035. Retrieved 17 May 2017 – via
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  34. ^ "Get to know Dr HR Nagendra, Modi's yoga guru recommended to Arvind Kejriwal | IndiaTV News". Retrieved 2017-07-25.
  35. ^ "'People didn't understand mental illness'". The Hindu. Retrieved 2017-07-25.
  36. ^ "Dr.N.K. Venkataramana, Neurosurgeon in Bangalore - BGS Global Hospitals | sehat". Retrieved 2017-07-25.
  37. ^
  38. ^ Narrain, Arvind; Chandran, Vinay (2015-12-17). Nothing to Fix: Medicalisation of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (in French). SAGE Publications India. ISBN 9789351509165.
  39. ^ "Life - S. K. Ramachandra Rao Memorial Website".
  40. ^ "'Most rebirth claims are true'". 5 August 2007.
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  42. ^ India, Press Trust of (2014-10-31). "Padma Shri neurologist conferred DSc by MP university". Business Standard India. Retrieved 2017-07-25.
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  44. ^ "Dr. Vijayalakshmi Ravindranath - MSCTR | Cancer Research |Translational Research". MSCTR | Cancer Research |Translational Research. Retrieved 2017-07-25.

External linksEdit