Two-day international conference on “Re-visiting Psychology in Culture and Contexts: Looking Beyond Professor Durganand Sinha’s Academic Legacy” kick-started at the seminar hall of Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT), here on Thursday.
The conference has been organised by the Allahabad University Psychology Alumni Association, Prof Durganand Sinha Trust for Social Sciences and National Academy of Psychology.
During the inaugural session, noted psychologist and former director of GB Pant Social Science Institute Prof RC Tripathi spoke at length about the academic journey of Prof Sinha and the many path breaking trends of indigenisation and cross-cultural studies initiated by him.
The first thematic session on “Towards Indigenisation of Psychology” had two eminent speakers, Prof Anand Paranjpe of Simon Fraser University, Canada and Professor Girishwar Mishra, former vice-chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Wardha.
Prof Anand Paranjpe elaborated on how behavioural and humanistic theories could be applied and used in understanding the relationship between yoga and behaviourism. Prof Mishra explored the roots and the various approaches to the indigenisation of psychology. He also lauded the role of Prof Sinha’s pioneering efforts in this direction. Prof Uichol Kim from Inha University, Korea pointed out that the understanding of the self was very different in different cultures.
The chairperson of the session, Prof Janak Pandey, a noted psychologist and former vice-chancellor of Central University of South Bihar emphasised the need to go beyond abstraction existing in the knowledge systems of different cultures and to evolve theoretical frameworks which could be empirically tested.
The second thematic session focused on psychological processes in cultures and contexts. This session was chaired by Prof Lilavati Krishnan from IIT, Kanpur and had two presentations by Prof Ajit Mohanty, JNU, New Delhi and Prof RC Mishra, BHU, Varanasi. The panel of experts for discussion included Prof Bhoomika Kar, Centre of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences of Allahabad University and Prof Namita Pande, Allahabad University.