Head of Department: Dr. Sanjay Kumar (14.10.2021-13.10.2024)
Chaudhary Charan Singh University (formerly Meerut University) was established to beprimarily a research intensive university. Academic life was given force by the divisions established to go beyond traditional boundaries. Each division relied on students who were admitted to the MPhil program, leading on to PhD.
Research in Psychology was envisaged to be conducted, along with sociology and education¸ under the aegis of the Division of Behavioural Sciences, established in 1970. The animal psychologist, Sheo Dan Singh, trained in US and UK, and with publications in world class journals (notably the Scientific American) was invited to join as Professor of Psychology. Siddha NathRai, currently Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology,also joined in May 1970 as lecturer in Psychology.In 1974, separate departments were established for Psychology, Education, and Sociology.MA programmes were started in all departments and MPhil was delinked from PhD.
Prof. S.D. Singh continued to work in collaboration with many scholars abroad, notably Harry Harlow. Under his influence, the major research focus of the department was on the psychology of primates with Prof. S.D. Singh requesting (some would say forcing!) the authorities, such as the government and UGC, to give him the resources to study rhesus monkeys in the Shivalik forest of Dehradun.
The foundation of experimental work laid by S.D Singh, were built upon by many others who came after him. Among the faculty who ably served the department, were B. S. Gupta, Maharaj Singh, Mridula Banerjee, and MadhuMathur. Dr. B. S. Gupta came in 1978 from Amritsar, did excellent experimental work, studying the effect of different stimulant and depressant drugs on conditioning and cognitive functioning among subjects divided on the basis ofEysenck’s dimensions of personality. A series of articles were published in several journals published from UK based on his work in combining personality and pharmacology. He later moved to Banaras Hindu University. Dr. Maharaj Singh had his basic training in Physics Honours (from this university itself), did MA Psychology from Meerut College, and M Phil from our department, and then went to complete a second Masters in Psychology from McGill University, Canada, on a Fullbright scholarship. He returned to join Meerut University in a project, completed a PhD with Prof. Rai, and joined as a reader in 1990 and remained associated with the department for about 10 years. A soft-spoken expert in research methods and statistics, he worked in the area of neuroscience focusing on handedness, and its implications for brain and cognition in normal and clinical populations. Eventually, he went to USA to work in the Department of Biostatistics in Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dr. Mridula Banerjee was another experimental psychologist, extremely clear in her conceptual knowledge of neuroscience, who initially worked with Prof. S.D. Singh. She later did a project on tribals in Madhya Pradesh. Dr. MadhuMathur was a UGC Research Scientist in the department from 1988 to 2008.
After Prof. Singh’s untimely demise, Narendra SinghChauhan joined as the professor and head of the department. With MA in Psychology from the University of Calcutta (after one in Philosophy from Agra University), he returned to Agra for a PhD in Sociology and D Litt in Psychology. His vision was firmly dedicated to India and its culture.Whilst in Agra, he had worked on personality erosion of lepromats. He was among the first Indian psychologists to work on the roots of Psychology in the Indian philosophical traditions. With more than a hundred research publications he covered an entire gamut topics such as creativity, behavioural deviance, psychopathology, parenting etc. in the Indian context. Prof. N.S. Chauhan was the president of Indian Psychological Association during 1993-94 and Prachi Psycho Cultural Research Association from 1985. Several tests were added to the existing experimental apparatuses and the department established a separate testing laboratory during this period. Several tests were constructed and published for research purposes by Prof. Chauhan and later also by Prof. Rai.
Whilst the 1970s was the era of looking to the west for inspiration in experimental psychology, and the 1980s was the time when we searched for our roots in Indian Philosophy, from 1990 onwards, the study of psychology was gradually expanded to include areas of application,which would ensure a good career for the students.
SiddhaNathRaiwas professor and head from 1990 to 2007. Prof. Rai was essentially an experimental psychologist who later started working on social issues and problems using experimental psychology. Extremely alive to the social realities of India (even to this day), it was in his tenure as head, that the department started courses leading to a professional degree. In 1992, the first professional course of the university, Advanced Diploma Course in Personal Management and Industrial Relation (PMIR) was started. This was followed in 1994-95 by a Masters in Human Resource and Development (MHRD). In 2001, an Advanced Diploma in Applied Clinical Psychology (ADACP) was offered. Prof. Rai was the president of Indian Psychological Association from 1995 to 2007. He was awarded a major research project on “Tempo and quality of decision making of visually handicapped”. He also published the Indian Journal of Current Psychological Researches from 1983 to 1997.
From 2007 onwardsBeer Singh was appointed as head of the department. He specialized in clinical assessment and mental health. His keen focus on jobs for the students of the department ensured good continuation of the job-oriented programs of study started by Prof. Rai. He initiated a PG Diploma in Counselling Psychology with its own ‘Counselling Center’ to serve the university and the general population. Prof. Beer Singh was awarded a UGC major project on mental health. He was also awarded a major research project by the ICSSR on marital adjustment and mental health of working and non-working women. A post doctoral fellow, Dr. Anuradha Pal, completed her fellowship project on acid attack victims under his supervision. During his tenure, Prof. Beer Singh organized three workshops for students and others on psycho-spiritual therapies, assessment with Rorschach, etc.
SnehlataJaswalwas appointed as professor in 2018 and soon thereafter became the head of the department. With a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, she is enthusiastic about the use of experimental and quantitative methods to understand human cognition, particularly in organizations. As head of the department, she brought back the focus on pure science aspect of Psychology. The syllabi for MA and M Phil was thoroughly revised. Recognizing the interdisciplinary nature of modern psychology, admission to MA was opened to all streams and subjects of knowledge. Currently, the department has two well-equipped laboratories, one for experimental work, and the other for psychological testing. Both laboratories are being upgraded to include hardware and software for computerized and advanced experimental design and testing. The department also has a separate computer laboratory for the use of students.
Dr. Sanjay Kumar and Dr. AlpnaAgarwal are currently serving in the department. Dr. Sanjay Kumar is an RCI registered clinical psychologist who is not only a popular teacher, but also a clinical practitioner. He is very enthusiastic for social work in the area of mental health. Dr. AlpnaAgarwal combines an interest in Health and Social Psychology with an acumen in Statistics. A revered teacher, she is valued for her practical advice and zeal for exploring newvistas of learning. Both are alumni of this department having done PhD with Prof. Rai and Dr Banerjee respectively.
Over the years, the department has had the benefit of hosting several distinguished visitors. Notable among them was Prof. Raj Narain who was associated with the department as Professor Emeritus from 1971 to 1978. He had earlier worked at Lucknow University with Gardner Murphy. Robert Mead often came to the department as a visiting professor during 1970-80.
Understandably, the department has a long list of renowned alumni. Prominent among those who went on to become researchers and academicians of repute in other universities are Mewa Singh, Rajbir Singh, Raghubir Singh Pirta, SunitaMalhotra, Chander Pal Khokhar, Waheeda Khan, SurajbhanYadav, and Chandrashekhar. NeerpalRathi is Associate Professor at IIM Nagpur. Several alumni are teaching in colleges such as YKSChauhan, AnshuAgarwal, Anita Moral, Madhubala, KarunaAnand, KumkumPareek, Sanjay Kumar, while MandarManjary is running a school in Muzaffarnagar. Purnima Jain served the nation by joining the IAS, Ajay Singh the IPS, and Dinesh Kuamr, the DRDO. This year, many students have been selected in the District Institute for Education and Training (DIET) as lecturers (Nidhi, Nishu, Mamta, Hemlata) and counsellors (Yashika, Shivraj, Manisha). Seema Sharma and Balbir Singh are renowned counsellors in private practice.
The focus on the pure science aspect of psychology is clear among faculty who published experimental studies in international journals of repute, such as the Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, British Journal of Psychology, Psychopharmacology,Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, and Journal of Cognitive Psychology. Prof. S.D. Singh’s work ‘Urban monkeys’ published in the Scientific American, was deeply appreciated by many scholars and the graphs in this article were used as models for graphical representation in McGuigan’s classic ‘Experimental Psychology’.
The department is rightly proud of its contribution to the literature in Psychology. Not only have our faculty published several articles in journal of repute in India and abroad, they have also contributed as publishers and editors. Prof. N.S. Chauhan published and edited the Prachi Journal of Psychocultural Dimensions from 1985 to 1998. Prof. S.N. Rai published and edited the Indian Journal of Current Psychological Researches from 1983 to 1997. Prof. SnehlataJaswal is the Assistant Specialty Chief Editor of Frontiers in Cognitive Science, which is a specialty in Frontiers in Psychology, currently the largest international journal in Psychology in terms of articles published.
Today, the mission of the department is to equip students with knowledge as well as skills to advance their career goals in Psychology and to deal with real life problems. To this end, the faculty members impart intensive knowledge to the students about myriad topics in Psychology with a particular focus on the recent advances in each area, and trains them in skills associated with research and practice of Psychology.
The department is currently offering the follwing programmes of study :
|Course Name||Download Syllabus|
|M.A. (Psychology) Programme (CBCS)|
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Research & Publication
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