Department of Psychology
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SPIRITUALLY-ORIENTED ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAMME FOR
COPING WITH COVID-19 : Prof. Akbar Husain, Dept. of Psychology, AMU, Aligarh
We do not have much belief in the Divine or spiritual intervention. In response to the spread of
Covid-19, ¯Where is God?¯, We are pointing that He is taking our examination. The task for
people of the world today is to give weight to our spirituality in earth. This is especially urgent,
because the ecological crisis has forced us to see that we need to bring awareness to the people
of earth through spiritual environmental education.
We need to develop spiritual strength to remind ourselves that we did not manage to generate a
reverential or loving relationship with the earth. The exploitation and destruction of the
environment must be compensated by a strong earth-based approach emerging from our
increased sense of cosmic spirituality. Spirituality in environmental education will need to
combat with earth-based creation in the form of coronavirus pandemic which is the highly
infectious disease. Different approaches to this infectious disease are at the root and alienation
in our culture. Because we have either refused or been unable to see the interdependence of
things, there is social alienation, social distance and environmental decay due to this epidemic.
Spiritually-Oriented Environmental Education Programs
Humankind is facing a global environmental crisis in the form of epidemic disease, coronavirus
(covid-19). The covid-19 pandemic is spreading throughout the world. The present
environmental crisis can be seen as a crisis of the human spirit. Therefore, in solving this
problem, special attention must be paid to the following spiritually-oriented environmental
Nature connection: There is no doubt that the spiritual relationship with the environment can
play an important role in environmental protection and in coping with environmental crisis. But
it is unfortunate that people are not moving towards adopting the spiritual strategies to protect
the environment. To mitigate the adverse effects of virulent disease, people need to develop
connection with nature.
Contemplation and Soulful Knowing: We live on different planes or platforms. We are
educated at school, taught to read and write, and how to deal with the external environment.
That is, we are put forward to make ourselves useful and agreeable in the world to demonstrate
our talents, shine, manipulate and conquer others.
One way that we can nurture to the soul or face environmental emergency is through
contemplation. Through cognitive logic and soulful knowing, one can seek the right answer
about how to keep healthy as the whole being. Sardello states: ¯Illness occurs when something
partial is taken to be the whole¯. In order to cope with environmental problem i.e. covid-19,
attention must be focused more upon internal environment and perfection of the soul.
Love for the Earth Planet: This also motivates us to help and make the world a more beautiful
place. At present we are not comfortable with pain what we received from covid-19. Yet the
cost to our life is enormous as the soul seeks to be in touch with the basic realities of life which
includes suffering and death associated with this pandemic.
Spirituality can be helpful in overcoming the environmentally-related problems. At present
nothing appears to be happening in relation to the resolution of the problem, but we have
expectations in terms of time. It has its own timetable. However, if we love the earth planet
in our own way, we will find a solution.
Cultivation of Healthy Habits and Positive Lifestyle: In order to combat with the present
crisis i.e. covid-19, cultivation of good habits and positive lifestyles of human beings are
needed rather than attachment with materialistic possessions. Positivity always prevails. We
should pray to God for empowering ourselves through the development of faith, love, care and
compassion for all to meet this crisis.
Human beings should develop healthy habits and positive lifestyles to protect it from further
development through care, passion and concern for each other. Healthcare professionals, police
and military personnel and non-governmental organizations are doing works of kindness and
positivity to help victims of ¯coronavirus¯ pandemic. So let us be more loving, compassionate
and caring, and altruistic which generates more positivity.
Fostering positive attitudes and attributes: Education can help people in nurturing positive
attitudes and attributes to cope with environmentally destructive behaviours. These positive
attitudes and attributes include integrity, honesty, generosity, loving-kindness, social
responsibility and distancing. More specifically, education for the environment or
sustainability helps encourage students to develop an attitude of caring for the earth (including
the biosphere) and its resources, and to actively participate in maintaining and improving the
quality of their environment. Environmental education can help students and people to develop
spiritual relationship with the environment, thus leading to their desire and willingness to take
actions for the environment. More specifically, teachers and students of environmental
education should develop connectedness among themselves, others, living things, society, and
Be environment conscious: Majority of people do little care about the physical environment or
surroundings in which they live. Quarantine is a novel concept for us to have testing and coping
with covid-19. We need to conserve the environment in the best possible manner to avoid
infection. When we talk about the ¯environment conscious¯ in the context of the present
scenario, it implies the external environment.
Social spirituality ¯refers to the endurance of personal relationship, a relationship with the
community either at the global or local, and caring for others¯. In the current scenario, this may
be path of healing suffering of all living beings. Until we develop ¯social distancing¯ as part
of spirituality, there can be no healing.
Family spirituality ¯exists where the members of the family take feast and do Japa in group.¯
It exists where members of the family conveys their admiration for family well-being and
hopefulness and helps the entire family to share in the experience of being so admired¯.
In the field of human relationship, nothing is as important as family spirituality. In the widest
sense it brings happiness and satisfaction, and it improves well-being. We need to spend more
time with family in order to increase intimacy. Communication between parents and
children and between life partners will be improved, if family spirituality exists, during
the time of situational or environmental crisis.
Spiritual Practices: Our ancestors have trained our mind and heart to perform
religious/spiritual practices for facing personal, social and environmental crisis. Based upon
religious belief the tendency of Indian people is to spread spiritual enlightenment with
spiritfulness and values what our parents have cultivated among us. Efforts are needed to deal
with life stressors through the sacred practices. Service spirituality is a universal form of
spirituality in numerous religious beliefs. Performing prayer, observing fast, reading
scriptures and meditation should be started immediately to cope with covid-19.
Recitation of Holy Scriptures: This has spiritual value to the people who have faith in it. For
example, the Qur¯an has deep spiritual meanings in it. It is meaningful to Muslims and their
spiritual development. The recitation of the Qur¯an is considered as a spiritual activity.
Similarly, Valmiki¯s Ramayana and the Mahabharata have both literary and spiritual value.
Ramayana deals with great literary work dealing with the heroic exploits of Rama. Ramayana is
a scriptural text which conveys something more than just story and this forms the essence of
Hindu tradition. Reading these epics can be considered as an account of man¯s spiritual
progress. I believe that holy scriptures have spiritual merits which provide strength among
us to deal with humanitarian crisis. Read one para or chapter of your holy book daily.
Spiritual Quest and Struggle: The spiritual quest is to embark upon the path of Allah and His
Messenger (SAW) to seek perfect guidance. If you desire to become the beloved of God, then
follow the path of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his virtuous actions. Allah, the Exalted has
commanded obedience to the Holy Prophet (SAW). The believers of Islam should follow the
entire life of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
Intrapsychic type of spiritual struggle deals with guilt about sin, fear of punishment from God,
and religious doubting. With respect to dealing with these problems, religious teachings may be
an important resource and may actually play a constructive role in personal spiritual
development. Individuals who suffer from covid-19 lack a potentially important cognitive
and emotional resource that could help them to facilitate positive adjustment.
Service and Caring: Service and caring to covid-19 patients bringing happiness in their life by
doctors and nurses are a sacred activity. To give a gift in the form of cure that deserves it, bringing a
smile to a patient who is sad and in misery, empathizing with those in grief, patients and their kith
and kin, sharing the burdens of others who are under stress or need your support, talking and
listening to others, all these are acts of good service. If we can dedicate our lives to serving the
covid-19 patients for improving their well-being implies that we will move beyond all feelings
of separateness and selfishness. Then we will be freed from the stress, anxiety, and negative
karma that arise from our reliance upon our egos to determine which actions we take in our
Lokasamgraha: This is a well known concept of Bhagvad Gita which means welfare of all
(society). Lokasamgraha provides the goal, direction and therefore it is the technique of
performing one¯s action and duty. Lord Krishna explains the concept of ¯Lokasamgraha¯ in
Bhagvad Gita. The underlying teaching of the Gita is that mere theoretical knowledge about
what is good and real is not enough unless this knowledge is reflected in one¯s conduct
(Bhagvad Gita, 3.21). Bhagavad Gita emphasizes lokasamgraha as the welfare of the world
which is the purpose of all actions. As explained in Gita, Lokasamgraha has the social and
universal dimension of Krishna¯s teaching.
In the context of covid-19, lokasamgraha means bringing about a unity of purpose and
cooperative effort in the society for the prevention and treatment of this dreadful disease.
People are not to confine in their own actions, but also to encourage others to act as well. That
is, every person should adopt a slow and steady effort to educate common people and to
encourage them for adopting the approach of the Gita. Keeping in view of the present crisis, we
need to adopt the concept of ¯Lokasamgraha¯ for the unity of the world and the
interconnectedness of the society. Gita requires us to give emphasis on human brotherhood.
Ishvara Pranidhana (surrender to God): The term ¯Ishvara Pranidhana¯ is made up of two
Sanskrit words; Ishvara and Pranidhana. Ishvara means ¯Supreme Being¯,¯God¯, ¯Brahman¯,
¯Ultimate Reality¯ or ¯True Self¯ and Pranidhana means ¯surrender¯, ¯dedicate¯, ¯devote¯ or
¯fixing¯. So here we are advised to ¯surrender¯ self completely to the Supreme Being, which in
essence means cultivating a deep and trusting relationship with the universe, and making each
action as an offering to something higher than us.
Ishvara pranidhana is the spiritual practice of surrendering the self fully to God to guide the
life and actions of the self in order to work in the world. In surrendering the ego to the Supreme
Being in humility, it is thought that the character of the divine can be attained. In Patanjali¯s
Yoga Sutras, this can be exercised through practicing the asanas along with a mantra and
mudra, through meditation and prayer, and/or through one¯s actions of daily living.
¯By total surrender to God, Samadhi is attained.¯ In the context of covid-19, ¯Ishvara
Pranidhana¯ means offering of our actions to ¯the divine¯ and humanity. Therefore, the practice
of Ishvara Pranidhana is to be taught and trained by the educationists, how we can completely
surrender our individual ego identities to God. Ishvara pranidhana will help to cure the
afflictions of the mind that cause pain and suffering, as it is designed to redirect our energy
away from our selfish desires and work towards the ultimate pursuit of Oneness.
Heart-to-Heart Meditation: This technique suggests how to connect with others, despite
social and physical distancing.
Sit comfortably and gently close your eyes.
Imagine the person to whom you wish to establish love connection.
Imagine he/she is sitting in front of you.
Feel you are connecting your heart with him/her.
Gently send love message to the person from your heart to his/her heart.
This heartfulness technique may strengthen your emotional connection and your intimacy
level. When we are connected through our heart, we create a vibration of love around us.
Messages: Develop Spiritual Fitness and Strengths by Spiritual Practices and Connection.
Prophet of Islam advised, ¯Those with contagious diseases should be kept away from those who are
healthy¯ (Bukhari, 6771).
August 21: The Department of Psychology, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) organised an 'Induction Programme' for the newly admitted Phd students to acquaint them with the key stages of the research and the academic policies, rules and regulations of the university.
In the interaction with the new research scholars, the Guest Speaker, Prof Ghazi Shahnawaz (Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi) delineated the shift of 'What to Why' in the field of research, while sharing experiences on how to pursue research.
He also spoke on the selection of research topics and their background studies and the latest technologies associated with research in Psychology. Conducting the programme, Prof Roomana N Siddiqui (Chairperson, Department of Psychology) briefed students about the objectives of the PhD program and discussed ways to benefit from learned researchers.
25th April 2019: On the United Nation's Annual Psychology Day, Prof Purnima Singh, (Chairperson, Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Delhi) delivered the university extension lecture on 'The Time is Now: Psychological Contributions to Global Gender Equality' at the conference hall, faculty of social sciences, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in which she emphasized on how psychologists can contribute in promoting gender equality and women empowerment. The department of psychology organised the lecture.
She addressed the challenges in achieving global gender equity, and highlighted research strategies, and programs that encourage, support, and create conditions to accelerate progress towards making gender equality a reality globally.
Discussing steps taken to overcome gender inequality, Prof Purnima emphasized on promoting leadership amongst women.
In the presiding remarks, Prof Anwar Jahan Zuberi (Former Vice Chancellor, Kerala University) pointed out that gender inequality is as much a problem for the educated masses as it is for the lesser educated people.
She spoke on the need of gender groups working in solidarity to let gender equality prevail.
Prof Akbar Husain (Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences) introduced the keynote speaker,
Prof Roomana N Siddiqui (Chairperson, department of psychology) delivered the welcome address.
Prof Nisar Ahmad (Chairperson, Department of economics) also spoke on the occasion.
The guests released the Psychological Society newsletter, 'Depsypher'.
Shazia Perween proposed the vote of thanks and Rumana Sanam conducted the programme.
..................................................................................................................................................................................................22nd April 2019: The faculty members and non-teaching staff at the Department of Psychology, Aligarh Muslim University bid a warm farewell to Prof Mahmood S Khan, who retired from the department after serving the University for over 32 years.
Prof Khan received a floral felicitation by Prof Akbar Husain, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Prof Mohd Ilyas Khan and Prof Asiya Aijaz. He was also presented a memento as a token of appreciation (for his services to the department) by the Chairperson, Prof Roomana N Siddiqui and Dr. Asma Parveen, Women's College.
Addressing on the occasion, Prof Akbar Husain reminisced the time and anecdotes shared with Prof Khan, appreciated his contributions towards the development of the department and admired his services as a popular teacher.
Prof Mohd Ilyas Khan recalled memories from the days spent as students and colleagues, which he shared with Prof Khan.
Prof Roomana N Siddiqui acknowledged Prof Khan¯s contributions to the development of the University and appreciated his services in various academic and administrative capacities.
Prof Mahmood S Khan expressed gratitude towards his colleagues and staff for their cooperation and support during his long and eventful teaching career in the department. He assured that he will always be available for services to the department and the University and shall strive to provide guidance to students.
Mrs. Sajda Nabi, former faculty member, Women's College, and Prof Asiya Aijaz also expressed their views on the occasion. Dr. Nasheed Imtiaz proposed a vote of thanks while Dr. S Reshma Jamal conducted the programme
9th April 2019: Inauguration of Student counseling Centre.
29th March 2019: Workshop on Projective Technique by Susmita Haldar.
23rd March 2019: Symposium on "Toward a Societally Relevant Social Psychology".
10th Nov 2018: International Conference on 'Islamic Psychology: Theory, Research and Application' start in AMU Aligarh. "Islam teaches us to be in a positive state of mind and it controls our thought processes in a positive manner. We can increase the effectiveness of prayers and relieve ourselves from anger, depression, and anxieties," said Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tariq Mansoor while speaking at the inaugural function of the three-day International Conference on 'Islamic Psychology: Theory, Research and Application' organized by the Department of Psychology in collaboration with International Association of Muslim Psychologists, Indian Council on Islamic Perspective in Psychology (New Delhi), Centre for study and Research and Training (Hyderabad), Al Barkaat Islamic Research and Training Institute (Aligarh) and Al Mustafa International University (Tehran) at the Kennedy Hall.
Prof Mansoor further said that Muslims should look forward to new developments and models of Muslim majority countries like Malaysia and Indonesia should be followed. "Malaysia and Indonesia have been hailed as models of how countries can provide its people with positive successful economic and social reforms based on tolerance, pluralism, and equality," said the Vice-Chancellor.
On the occasion, the Vice-Chancellor also released 'Contemporary Trends in Islamic Psychology', edited by Prof Akbar Husain and 'Contemporary Human Issues in Islamic Perspective' authored by Dr. Abdul Majid Khan.
Dr. Bagus Riyono (President, International Association of Muslim Psychologists-IAMP, Indonesia) pointed out that Islamic Psychology movement, which was started by Prof Malik Badri in the 1970s has been going on for several decades.
Elaborating the future of Islamic Psychology, Dr. Riyono said that the next step for Islamic Psychology is to build psychological theories based on Islamic teachings and carry intensive researches for providing scientific foundations of these theories."It is hoped that this conference will become a productive platform for the academic community as a significant step for the development of Islamic Psychology," said Dr. Riyono. "Applications of Islamic Human sciences with all its different divisions in the realm of sociology, law, psychology, political, ethical and social sciences is imperative in the modern human life which faces spiritual vacuum," said Dr Mohammad Reza Saleh (Special Representative, Al Mustafa International University, Tehran) adding that we need to generate rational way of comprehensions of religion and to create a unique methodology to extract religious ideologies from original sources.
Prof Akbar Husain (Director of the Conference and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences) emphasized, "It was Al-Ghazali, who recognized this branch of knowledge as Ilm al Nafsiyat and Ilm al Muamlat (Study of Mind and Behaviour)," said Prof Husain adding that Islamic psychology explains that when a man undergoes spiritual purification by subduing his evil urges, he actualizes the angelic attributes.
He delineated how Islamic Psychology is integrated into religion, Al Tibb, spirituality and theology. "Muslim scholars such as Abu Yusuf Ya'qub Ibn Ishaq, Abu Zahid Al Balkhi, Abu Bakr Mohammad Ibn Zakaria Al Razi, Abu Nasr Muhammad, Shah Waliulla and Ashraf Thanvi among others have left an indelible impression on the natural and social sciences for which the world will ever remain indebted as they integrated Islamic perspectives with existing knowledge of their times," said Prof Husain. While welcoming the guests, Prof Roomana N Siddiqui (Organising Secretary) said that Islamic Psychology is grounded in the preaching of Quran and history is replete with evidence of its contribution to the growth of psychology.
Prof Naved Iqbal (Organising Secretary) proposed the vote of thanks. More than 100 participants from Sudan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Iran, Bangladesh, Australia and various parts of India are attending the conference.
17th October 2018: Prof Akbar Husain (Dean, Faculty of Social Science) was conferred with the Outstanding Researcher of the Year Awards for 2018 from the Faculties of Humanities/Social Sciences, Law, Commerce, Management Studies and Research category. Prof Akbar Husain received cash prizes of Rs. one lakh each and citations for their Outstanding Researcher of the Year awards.
10th October 2018: World Mental Health Day was celebrated by the Department of Psychology.
24th September 2018: Ten days SPSS workshop (24th Sep. to 4th October 2018)
10th August 2018: The Department of Psychology, Aligarh Muslim University bid farewell to Prof Shamim A Ansari, Prof Hafiz M Iliyas and Prof Shahina Maqbool in a special function, which was attended by teachers, students, and staff of various departments.
On the occasion, Prof Akbar Hussain, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences said that the retiring teachers had spent their life in educating students and creating a better life for them.
"They took pains to build foundations of knowledge, education and wonderful careers for students," said Prof Hussain while showing his deep sense of appreciation.
Prof Roomana N Siddiqui, Chairperson, Department of Psychology discussed contributions of the retiring teachers in their field and how they groomed students to shape their careers.
"They have raised the academic standards of the department by identifying the needs of students in order to provide an inclusive education," said Prof Roomana adding that Prof Shamim Ansari guided students with valuable insights, Prof Hafiz Iliyas helped the department to bring in high-quality infrastructure facilitates for better student outcomes and Prof Shahina Maqbool's dedication and devotion will always be missed.
Prof. Roomana also opened the new IT Lab of the department in presence of Prof Shamim Ansari, Prof Hafiz Iliyas and Prof Shahina Maqbool. Prof Mahmood S Khan and Dr. Sajid Ali khan also spoke on the contributions of the retiring teachers in academic learning and research.
Meanwhile, Prof Shamim Ansari, Prof Hafiz Iliyas and Prof Shahina Maqbool thanked the teachers, staff and students for their love and affection. Dr Reshma Jamal conducted the programme.
16th July 2018: The Department of Psychology, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) today organised a two-weeks, 'Islamic Psychology and Counselling' Orientation Programme to throw light on how individuals can go through counselling sessions in the light of Islamic scriptures.
Attending the inaugural function as the Chief-Guest, AMU Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Professor M H Beg pointed out that the Western psychology has a lot to offer, but there is work which needs to be done in the dimension of spirituality.
He added that discipline and hard work are crucial in exploring any field of knowledge. "I am sure that the participants of this programme will design an Islamic framework of psychology and show how it can benefit the whole world," said the Pro Vice Chancellor. On the occasion, Prof M H Beg also released the manual of Orientation Programme, which is authored by Professor Akbar Husain, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences and coordinator of the programme with Dr Fauzia Nazam and Ms Zohra Khatoon as other co-authors. Professor Akbar Husain, stressed the importance of individual awareness of self, the psychotherapeutic approach in Islamic perspective and reintegration of individual in socio-religious mainstream.
He said that there is a need to reconcile the insights gained from psychology's theories and interventions with the principles that exist within the Islamic legal tradition, their higher objectives and ethical ends.
Speaking on the concept of Nafsiyat (Self), Ruh (Spirit), Qalb (Heart), Aql (Intellect), Tafkeer (Thought), Al Fitra (Nature), Taqwa (Piety),Suluk (Behaviour) and Tasarruf (Conduct), Prof Husain said that there is a need to understand human behaviour from the Islamic perspective and to do counselling while reflecting on the relationship with the Creator.
Principal of Women's College, Prof Naima Gulrez who was present as the Guest-of-Honour said that reading religious scriptures is catharsis for people in pain. She added that we should always accept knowledge and never withdraw from certain fields of inquiry and at the same time seek for truth by pursuing tasks in the right ways.
Professor Roomana N Siddiqui (Chairperson, Department of Psychology) proposed the vote of thanks. Professor Hafiz M Ilyas Khan, former Chairperson, Department of Psychology with other senior faculty members attended the inaugural function.
10th May 2018: The Department of Psychology, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) organised its first ever Alumni Meet in which the department's former students from various parts of the country and all over the world reminisced the days spent at their Alma mater.
AMU Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof Tabassum Shahab said that a well-knit alumni network allows the University to benefit from the skills and experience of graduates, by offering their support to the current students, to the institution and to each other.
AMU alumnus and special guest, Dr Nadeem A Tarin said that this meet has provided an opportunity to the current students to meet their seniors and discuss career prospects and to make students find mentors in the alumni.
Distinguished alumna and Chief-Guest, Mrs Arjumand Tarin said that Department of Psychology alumni are proud of their Alma mater and this meet will further develop strong alumni relations. She added that the alumni have a great role to play in bringing AMU community together in the best of ways. She assured to provide finances for the construction of a floor in the Department of Psychology's new block which is under-construction.
Prof Hafiz M Iliyas Khan (Organising Secretary of the meet and Chairperson, Department of Psychology) said that a directory with details of 400 alumni has been created. He added that alumni have a wealth of experience and skills to share with students and this could go even further with alumni offering to practically support students in work placements and help them launch their careers.
Prof Shamim A Ansari (Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences) said that the students of past and present are what any university is all about. He added that the faculty and staff are vital as well, but students are unique as they will forever fill a role. whether they are current students or long graduated.
Presiding over the function, Prof Khawaja Shamim Ahmad (Former, AMU Vice Chancellor) said that since alumni are the brand-ambassadors of the institution they graduated from, we see institutions declaring the list of their notable alumni as a way of connecting their successes with what the college has provided them. Prof Ahmad added that AMU has a strong and a positive relationship with their alumni who realize that it's not just a mere nostalgia that they associate their alma-mater with, but it's much beyond that.
Mr. Syed Nadeem Ahmad (Director, Safina Group) announced that he will help in providing a smart-class room for the Department. Alumni present on the occasion also promised to provide finances for the construction of the new block. Prof Akbar Hussain proposed the vote of thanks, while Dr. Faiza Abbassi conducted the programme.
13. 24th MAR-2018: International Conference on Mental Health for Sustainable Human Development held Aligarh, March 24: The Pro Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Prof. Tabassum Shahab speaking at 2 day International Conference organised by Department of Psychology, AMU on the theme Mental Health for Sustainable Human Development said that Economic growth without investment in human development is unsustainable and unethical.
He emphasised the process of articulating a vision and a strategic direction for the practice that encourages input from all of the practice decision makers and allows divergent perspectives to be aired and addressed in order to reach consensus.
In his Key Note address Jitendra Mohan, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Punjab University quoted Paul Hawken. The Future belongs to those who think that doing more with less is compassionate, prosperous and enduring and thus more intelligent, even more competitive.
He added every individual has a role to play as we have not inherited the earth from our ancestors; we borrowed it from our children. He elaborated on who¯s who of Sustainable development and its goals, Human Development Index and how to reach out sustainability through psychology.
Guest of Honour Prof. Daya Singh Sandhu (Lindsey Wilson College, Columbia) said that such conferences encourage scholarly presentations which will be greatly appreciated to enhance the newly initiated efforts for sustained human development. He applauded the elite faculty of Psychology (AMU).
In his welcome address Chairman and Organising President Prof. (Hafiz) Mohd. Ilyas Khan said that, this event is the culmination of painstaking work done by staff and students. He exhibited confidence that the conference will provide a platform to the delegates to share information and interaction will pave way for enlightened understanding of mental health issues.
Prof. Shamim A Ansari (Convenor and Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, AMU) said that the active and dynamic interaction will provide lot of inputs with regard to mental health leading to sustainable psycho-social and personal development.
Vote of thanks was paid by Prof Akbar Husain (Department of Psychology, AMU), while Dr. Reshma Jamal and Dr. Mehwish Fatima conducted the program.
14. 25th March 2018: The Department of Psychology, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) concluded the two-day International Conference on Mental Health for Sustainable Human Development.
Presiding over the valedictory function, AMU Vice Chancellor, Professor Tariq Mansoor said that a large number of people are suffering from mental health issues and there is a mental health epidemic all over the world.
He added that many cases of school shootings in United States of America, where guns can be purchased at the age of 18 have occurred. The accused in most of these shooting cases have been found to be suffering from serious mental health issues, said the Vice Chancellor.
Prof Mansoor pointed out that the case studies of people suffering mental health problems have shown that depression and the materialistic society have led to mental disabilities.
Since AMU is a multi-disciplinary university, different departments of social sciences, medical sciences and basic sciences can work in collaboration to find ways of curing mental health problems, said the Vice Chancellor.
During the valedictory address, Prof G B Thakur (Former Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, M G Vidhapeeth, Varanasi) said that this age belongs to psychology as we are facing diverse effects of culture and society on mental health, mental illness, and mental health services.
This understanding is key to developing mental health services that are more responsive to the cultural and social contexts of people, said Prof Thakur adding that religion is important, directly and indirectly, in the etiology, diagnosis, symptomatology, treatment and prognosis of psychiatric disturbances but people today are too busy to think over it.
Guest-of-Honour, Prof S M I A Zaidi (Head, Department of Educational Planning and Registrar, NUEPA, New Delhi) said that mental health problems can have a wide range of causes. In most cases, no one is sure precisely about the cause of a particular problem and people most likely suffer mental problems because of a combination of factors, although some people may be more deeply affected by certain things than others, he added.
Prof Najma Akhtar (Head, Department of Training and Capacity Building in Education, NUEPA, New Delhi) who also attended the function as a Guest-of-honour said that mental health is still a taboo subject for many cultures and it is high time we grasp the gravity of the situation and grow up. Mental health and well- being need to be a priority, especially in today's stressful times, said Prof Akhtar.
AMU alumnus, Dr Wael Mustafa, who had come from Palestine to attend the conference, also spoke on the occasion.
Prof Shamim A Ansari (Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences) proposed the vote of thanks, while Dr Nasheed Imtiaz presented the conference report. Dr. S Reshma Jamal conducted the programme.
15. 15th January 2018: Ten days SPSS workshop (15th Jan. to 24th Jan, 2018)
16. 12th September 2017: Dr. Modi from Mumbai delivered lecture on Mental Well Being of Students. He mainly focused how students can cope with the pressure and anxiety occurs during examination. Prof. Akbar Husain welcomed the guest. Dr. Shah Mohd. Khan gave vote of thanks.
17. 29th August 2017: The Training and Placement Office (General), Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) with the Department of Psychology organized an interactive cum training workshop on 'Positivity and Balanced Life for Digital Youth.'
Guest Speaker, Mr Rupender Khera, a well-known training consultant and executive coach spoke on the role of youth in digital world. He also engaged students in a psychological game in which they discussed their future plans, vision and goals. He motivated students by quoting Bill Gates, 'we are born with limitless opportunities and it's our job to harvest the best suited for us.'
Prof Akbar Husain highlighted the importance of these workshops saying that engaging youth for an intensive discussion and activity on a particular subject makes them familiar with an innovative environment.
Mr Saad Hameed (Training and Placement Officer, General) welcomed the guest speakers to the programme.
The workshop had two interactive sessions, which were attended by 250 student participants.
AMU students and research scholars Asif Hasan, Mohd Anas, N Tawfeeq Alee, Munnoo Khan, Dr Fauzia Nazam, Azhar Shahab, Abhisek Maitra, Bushra Hashim, Adiba Israr, Fatima Hashmi and Akanksha Sharma volunteered to make the programme successful.
18. 19th May 2017: Electroencephalography (EEG) Workshop conducted by Dr. Proshanto Kr. Shaha from Gujrat forensic Sciences during workshop he mainly focused on data acquisition, data refining, data correction and their interpretation.
19. 15th May 2017: The Aligarh Muslim University Vice Chancellor, Lt General Zameer Uddin Shah (Veteran) and Pro Vice Chancellor, Brigadier S Ahmad Ali (Veteran) attended a farewell function organised by the University¯s Department of Psychology. The programme was conducted under the guidance of Professor (Hafiz) Mohd Ilyas Khan, Chairperson, Department of Psychology by the faculty members, students, research scholars and other dignitaries.
During the programme, the Department of Psychology thanked Lt General Zameer Uddin Shah and Brigadier Syed Ahmad Ali for their untiring and unwavering commitment towards the development of the University.
Mrs Sabiha Simi Shah, wife AMU Vice Chancellor, General Shah; Guest of Honour, Dr Nadeem Tarin, Mrs Arjumand Bano and Mr Ashraf Ali Fatimi also graced the occasion with their presence.
The Vice Chancellor General Shah in his speech shared beautiful and valuable life lessons with the students and the faculty members. He praised Professor (Hafiz) Mohd Ilyas Khan for his hardiness and his ability, quality of leadership, his oratory, power of conviction, capacity to organize every function successfully.
Meanwhile, Professor (Hafiz) Mohd Ilyas Khan in his eloquent and mesmerizing speech spell bounded the guests and the audience alike, while emphasising the uncountable achievements and fine administration skills of Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah and his contributions towards the vision of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan making him a valuable successor.
He thanked General Shah for allocating land for the construction of Department of Psychology at Jalil Hostel. Professor Khan also thanked Mrs Arjumand Bano, wife of Dr Nadeem Tarin, who has proposed to contribute in the cause and offered to help build the new building for the Department.
Mr Nadeem Tarin in his speech emphasized on the training and professionalizing of the courses, while Mrs. Arjumand Bano, who is an alumnus of the Department of Psychology, very humbly thanked the department for remembering her and inviting her to relive her college days. Later Mr Ashraf Ali Fatimi, ex-HRD Minister of State and AMU alumnus spoke about his student days in the University. He said that he is happy to see the achievements of various departments and faculties. Mr Fatimi also wished the university to achieve new height in days to come.
Earlier Professor Romana Siddiqui and Dr Reshma Jamal delivered the welcome speeches.
Research scholar, Ms Roomana Sanam conducted the programme. Dr S M Khan briefed the guests about the developments in the Department.
The programme also had a Nazm (Poem) recitation by Ms Bushra Hashim and group song by M A students of the Department.
20. 11th May 2017: Aligarh Muslim University Vice Chancellor, Lt General Zameer Uddin Shah (Veteran) recently laid the Foundation Stone of the New Academic Block of the Department of Psychology near the erstwhile Jaleel Hostel, Tar Bangalow Road in the presence of Professor Shamim A Ansari, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences; Professor (Hafiz) M Ilyas Khan, Chairperson, Department of Psychology and Mrs Sabiha Seemi Shah.
Speaking on the occasion, General Shah said that the University has in its plans to turn Tar Bangalow into an academic hub with new buildings and parking areas. Appreciating efforts of Prof Ilyas Khan; General added that Prof Ilyas has the right leadership qualities in leading the best works for the Department of Psychology.
Meanwhile, Prof Ilyas pointed out that the New Academic Block associated with the 60-years-old, Department of Psychology will have ground + three floors. The New bock will fulfil all the necessary requirements including state-of-art labs and bigger seminar rooms for the Department, said Prof Ilyas. He added that this achievement has only been possible because of Vice Chancellor¯s determination. Prof Akbar Husain proposed the vote of thanks. Faculty members, students and scholars from the Department of Psychology and other departments and faculties were present on the occasion.
21. 17th April 2017: The Department of Psychology, Aligarh Muslim University organized a Two-day Workshop on "Interest Aptitude Screening Test and Parenting Programme for research scholars of the University. Prof. R.K. Gunthey, Head, Department of Psychology, Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur, along with his four member team, facilitated the programme.
Delivering a talk, Prof. Gunthey provided details of a number of programmes which help students of age group of 14 to 22 years to identify their interest and aptitude. He said if interest and aptitude is scientifically determined, then it will be easy and beneficial to choose the academic line and a good career. A substantial number of students lack interest in their field of education, which causes a mismatch between aptitude and interest.
Earlier, Prof. Shamim A. Ansari, Programme Coordinator and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences introduced Prof. R. K. Gunthey and his team. Prof. (Hafiz) M. lIyas Khan, Chairman, Department of Psychology welcomed the guest and participants.
The parents were also provided with tips on helping their children to overcome shyness, lack of confidence, lack of motivation, time management, communication power etc. An informative programme, Matrutav", established chord with the parents and would-be-parents.
Prof. Shamim A. Ansari gave away certificates to participants while Prof. (Hafiz) M. Ilyas Khan proposed a vote of thanks.
22. 20th March 2017: Seven days SPSS workshop (20th March. to 26th March, 2017)
The Department of Psychology recently began a workshop on Data Analytics using SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) as a part of an initiative to expand research training for junior investigators engaged in academic research. The workshop will end on March 26, 2017.
Delivering the keynote address, Professor Mohd Ilyas Khan, Chairperson, Department of Psychology said that data analysis is not a decision making system, but a decision supporting system and this program will fill the gap. He added, application of statistical software for data analysis is indispensable for any research scholar who is doing quantitative research.
Dr Shah Mohd. Khan, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology said that the computer based data processing and analysis will be the central feature of the workshop. He added that SPSS has been consciously chosen as it is user-friendly and appropriate for data analysis.
Meanwhile, Prof Akbar Husain, discussed the need for number of similar workshops for enriching the quality of research.
23. 4th March 2017: The Department of Psychology, Aligarh Muslim University today organised a National Conference on Professionalizing psychology in meeting contemporary needs and challenges.
Delivering the keynote address, Professor Purnima Mathur, Emeritus Professor, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi said that Professionalization of psychology is needed more and more in modern society as there is a need to professionalize conceptual issues of knowledge acquired about human behaviour.
The most professionalized area in psychology today is guidance and counselling implemented in several contexts, pointed Prof Mathur adding that institutes of higher learning can professionalize psychology better by designing and offering more of application opportunities in the coursework thus extending the scope of all disciplines of applied psychology.
While presiding over the function, AMU Pro Vice Chancellor, Brigadier S Ahmad Ali pointed out that psychology should be taught as professional course in universities and it is important for academics to give a serious thought to include psychology as a professional discipline. Brigadier Ali further said that if war-fare psychology is taught in universities, it will be easy to have professionals in the army and security services to train personnel in dealing with situations in conflict areas, which will include training of army and security personnel in counter-terrorism operations.
He added that the theme of the conference is appropriate in view of the present days demand and challenges that are faced in real life situations like relationships, mental disorders, bereavement and choosing careers.
AMU Pro Vice Chancellor also pointed out that mental health is of utmost importance for the betterment of any nation. If people are mentally healthy, the nation will prosper, said Brigadier Ali.
Professor Mohd Ilyas Khan, Chairperson, Department of Psychology, AMU said that since the sweeping changes in global industrialization, commerce and trade have made the role of psychology, really indispensable; the contemporary needs and challenges are now overwhelming.
The demands of our fast developing economy and the desire to become a leading nation of the world have mandated a big role for psychologist in India too, said Prof Khan adding that there is a vast market that is developing for psychologists in India.
However, we have to upgrade and modernize and the challenge is really great given our inability to provide solutions within a short span of time to the problems at hand, added Prof Khan.
Professor Shamim Ahmad Ansari, Organizing Secretary of the Conference said that modern age has come with skillful practical knowledge that can serve the society and organizations. He added that since, the mid of 20th century, there was a slogan that knowledge without use is useless and this has been the reason why, all disciplines specially of social sciences have started focusing on the utilization of knowledge for the services of mankind.
He added that in the modern world, there is a need to develop strategy for giving immediate, appropriate and reasonable solution to the problems; thus, further professionalization of psychology becomes more imperative.
Professor G P Thakur, who attended the function as a Guest of Honour said that even though the field of psychology has seen a lot of advancement in the past century, however new challenges have come up with the developments in the modern world. People live with mental pressures related to the work places and personal lives and this leads to a big challenge for psychologists, he added.
Professor Akbar Husain proposed the vote of thanks, while Dr Reshma Jamal conducted the programme.
24. 18th Nov 2016: The Department of Psychology, Aligarh Muslim University today started the National Conference on Spiritual Psychology in Practice under UGC-SAP (DRS Phase-I). The Inaugural Function of the Conference took place at the Faculty of Arts Lounge.
While delivering the key-note address, Professor Sagar Sharma, Former Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Science, H P University and Professor emeritus with the Punjab University said that even in the era of globalization, we can come across people, who consistently hold to their spiritual and religious orientation for the mental well-being and turning to their faith as a source of solace and support in their most stressful moments.
He added that empirical studies of many groups dealing with major life stressors such as natural disaster, illness, loss of loved ones, divorce and serious mental illness show that religion and spirituality are generally helpful to people in coping, especially people with the fewest resources facing the most uncontrollable of problems.
These positive religious coping methods include spiritual support from God or a higher power, rituals to facilitate life transitions, spiritual forgiveness, support from a religious institution or clergy and reframing a stressful situation into a larger, more benevolent system of meaning said Prof Sharma.
Talking on the mental health benefits of meditation, Prof Sharma said that it will alter your brain grey matter and improve memory and sense of self. He added that meditation, in a way, is like exercise for our brains as it is been shown to assist in mental health maintenance, improving memory, empathy, and sense of self.
Guest of Honour, Prof Nilanjana Sanyal, Department of Psychology, University of Kolkata said that Spiritual Psychology uses elements of both traditional psychology and spirituality in order to help individuals feel better and to be more content with their lives.
She added that in today's world, it has become imperative to work on self-development, peak experiences, and altered states of consciousness, spiritual practices, and other experiences of living.
Prof Sanyal further said that in today's world it is a big task to relate with yourself in compassionate and healing ways that free you from mental anguish and emotional suffering. She added that it is very important to clarify your purpose of life and translate it into meaningful and achievable goals.
She pointed out that spirituality helps people to live with meaning and fulfillment as well as joy and happiness.
Delivering the presidential address, the Aligarh Muslim University Pro Vice Chancellor, Brigadier S Ahmad Ali (Veteran) said that Spiritual Psychology is a healthy mix of spirituality and science.
Brigadier Ali further said that to take care of day-to-day problems, people need to be in their right mental health. He added that to have mental health people need to understand that for every victory, there is a defeat and it is important to keep trying with the right state of mind. He also said that it is important to overcome weaknesses and learn to live with peace.
He pointed out that religion is a like a coin with two sides. While one said brings peace to a person and makes him/her a better human; the flip side might bring superiority to people. He pointed out that people should be wise enough to follow religion and spirituality in the right way. Brigadier Ali also urged people to drain out unnecessary thoughts while doing meditation.
During the welcome address, Prof Mohd Ilyas Khan, Organizing Secretary of the Conference said that the topic of Spiritual Psychology in Practice is very relevant as there is a lot of stress on spirituality for bringing peace of mind to wipe out mental agony and psychological distress.
Prof Akbar Husain, Coordinator, UGC-SAP (DRS Phase-I) threw light on how spiritual practices are multiplying all over the world. He said that it has become very important, not only that we must bring about a change in the world, but also a total revolution psychologically and inwardly.
He added that spiritual practices are necessary to bring changes in our behaviour, in our relationships and in all aspects of life and well-being.
Prof Shamim A Ansari, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences proposed the vote of thanks.
On the occasion, the Pro Vice Chancellor and the guests also released Souvenirs and Abstracts of the Conference and a book titled, "Annotated Bibliography: Spiritual Psychology in India".
25. 16th June, 2016: Dr. Robinder P. Bedi is a registered and practicing counseling psychologist at British Columbia; Canada delivered his talk on "Counselling for Management of Chronic Pain" in the Dept. of Psychology before faculty, research scholars and PG students.
26. 6th June 2016: The Pro Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, Brig. S. Ahmad Ali inaugurated the Psychophysiology Laboratory in the Department of Psychology. Prof. NAK Durrani, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences and the faculty members of the department were present on the occasion. Prof. Akbar Husain, Coordinator, DRS-SAP (Phase-I) played a key role in establishing the laboratory. Welcoming the guests, Prof. (Hafiz) Mohd. Ilyas Khan, Chairman, Department of Psychology, highlighted the academic and developmental needs of the Department briefly.
Dr. Shah Mohd. Khan, Associate Professor and Mr. Asif Hasan, Research Scholar demonstrated the equipments installed in the laboratory which included a Biofeedback imported from Germany. The equipment will help to measure electrical activity in the brain, body temperature and Blood Pulse of subject through Electroencephalogram (EEG). This equipment will be used for research, diagnosis and therapy of subjects suffering from Anxiety, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Pain, Depression, Epilepsy, Learning Disabilities, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Pre-Menstrual Syndrome, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Sleep Disorders, Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury and Blood Pressure Variability.
Brig. Ali said that a faculty member should be sent to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for advance knowledge in EEG testing and interpretation of results. He assured that this kind of visit will be sponsored by the University.
27. 4th April, 2016: Prof. Azizuddin Khan, an alumnus of Department of Psychology working at IIT, Mumbai visited as Adjunct Professor and delivered series of talks to Under Graduate, Post Graduate and Research students from 04.04.2016 to 09.04.2016.
28. 18th April, 2016: Prof. Azizuddin Khan, an alumni of department of Psychology, AMU Aligarh presently working at IIT, Mumbai visited as Adjunct Professor and delivered series of talks to Under Graduate, Post Graduate and Research students in the Department of Psychology, Linguistics and Electronics Engineering from 18.04.2016 to 23.04.2016. He is visiting faculty to number of universities abroad and areas of teaching are: Cognitive Psychology, Educational Psychology, Human Cognitive Processes, Developmental Neuropsychology, Biological Psychology, Cognitive Ergonomics and Research Methodology. He is also working on various research projects in the fields of: Developmental Neuropsychology, Education and Child Development, Eyewitness Testimony, Cognitive Ergonomics, EEG / Event Related Potential, Working Memory and Prospective Memory and Developmental Dyslexia.
He also gave a detailed presentation on the Biofeedback equipment recently imported from Germany. This equipment will help in Neurophysiological research by studying electrical activity in the brain as recorded by electrodes placed on the scalp.
29. 7th November, 2015: "Yoga and spirituality are not the monopoly of any religion and I have myself practiced it for the last 43 years only to find it a complete solution for attainment of spiritual bliss and human well being", pointed out Lt. Gen. Zameer Uddin Shah (Retd.), Vice Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University today, while addressing as the chief guest at the inaugural session of the two-day National Seminar on Yoga and Spirituality organized by the Department of Psychology, Aligarh Muslim University.
Lt. Gen. Shah said that Yoga is an intense form of physical exercise and it needs to be conducted under apt guidance of a teacher. He said that Yoga, apart from being a natural training system in discipline, teaches to "be in peace with yourself".
Lt. Gen. Shah asserted that Yoga did not have any clash with Islamic teachings, although there were certain rituals, which could be avoided while practicing it for physical fitness and personal training.
The Vice Chancellor urged the students and faculty members to take the message home of early rising and practicing some kind of physical training, which helped people greatly in character building and attaining spiritual order. He said that "learning is a continuous process and every person should keep making efforts to attain knowledge".
In his address, Guest of honour, Brig. Kartar Singh (retd.) said that the "dominating characteristic of Yoga is that it stresses on teaching discipline", which is the elementary lesson, taught in armed forces. He said that Yoga and spirituality were amongst the oldest teachings of Vedic philosophy, which have been as much popular in the West as in India. He said that Yoga is a way of life and those who practice Yoga, have found it in complete conformity with the spiritual training.
Addressing on the occasion as a guest of honour, Brig. S. Ahmad Ali, Pro-Vice Chancellor, said that Yoga and Spirituality went hand in hand and that spirituality was action while Yoga was an attitude.
Speaking extensively on the various aspects of Yoga and spirituality, Brig. Ali said that the intrinsic part of the philosophy of Yoga was that it initiated the practitioner in self-fortification. He said that the most important part of spiritual training was based on killing one's ego.
Brig. Ali asserted that Allama Iqbal's philosophy of Khudi, in its complete essence, was nothing but an order to attain spiritual bliss. He said that both Yoga and spirituality lead people to self-actualization, which elevates minds and spirit to attain a heavenly feeling and a total trance.
Highlighting the importance of practicing various forms of Yoga, Brig. Ali said that Namaz is only way of prayer amongst all religions that incorporated different Asanas of the Yoga and a five-time praying person would be the best to practice a complete physical exercise.
Brig. Ali said that Yoga leads to positive thinking and helps in discarding negative thoughts. He urged the people to adopt Yoga to "be positive, think positive and live positive".
Prof. N. A. K. Durrani, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences said that Yoga and spirituality were two sides of same coin and both of them were helpful in human well being and physical enrichment. He said that Yoga and spirituality have always been a path to spiritual enrichment and discipline. He said that the world of late has come to realize the importance of spiritual uplift and all civilized societies are adopting Yoga or Yoga like physical and spiritual training to help humanity survive in even a state of chaos and depravity.
Earlier, welcoming the guests, Prof. Hafiz Mohammad Ilyas, Chairman, Department of Psychology and Organizing Secretary of the Seminar said that this seminar has been organized on Yoga in view of the popularity of Yoga at international level. He said that people know Yoga as one of the oldest Indian traditions which has enriched the pluralistic culture of the country by imbibing various spiritual orders which developed throughout the ages in India. He said that the seminar was also intended to commemorate the hundred years of Psychology in India.
Prof. Ilyas appreciated the University administration for extending full support in organizing this seminar. He said that the University had surged through several developmental courses during the last few years and the Vice Chancellor's visionary leadership had promises to take the University to number one position in the country very soon.
Prof. Akbar Husain, Director of the Seminar said that although the first department of psychology was established in the University of Calcutta, AMU's department of psychology also figured amongst the biggest centre of higher learning in psychology in the country, especially pioneering in the Yoga and Spiritual Psychology.
Prof. Husain said, "The 20th century was the century of confusion and differences but the 21st century is the age of spirituality and oneness".
Prof. Shamim A. Ansari proposed a vote of thanks. Prof. Roomana Siddiqui conducted the programme. On this occasion, the Vice Chancellor also released the souvenir of the seminar.