One of the big task in early years the department was how to develop the section of clinical psychology which will be suitable for an academic psychiatry department in a general hospital setting? Clinical psychologists were very vital in the department not only for service and teaching programs but made a very important role in most of the research activities of the department. As I saw it there were three much more challenges in this area:
- How to identify bright and suitable clinical psychologists for the department.? This was solved by tirst selecting them for I.C.M.R. or other research projects and seeing their performance in service and teaching programs also. If found suitable then nurture them for regular departmental jobs. We were lucky to get both Santosh Verma and Dwarka Pershad by this route. Mr.Santosh Verma joined in a I.C.M.R. project in 1969. Mr.Dwarka Pershad joined a year later. Both of them impressed me with their sharp intellect, capacity for hard work and complete devotion to the allotted responsibility . After two-three years both were found regular jobs as child clinical psychologists or chief clinical psychologist etc. in the department.
- The next problem was how to raise their status to regular faculty posts as Lecturer/Assistant Professor etc. It could only be done if they had obtained their Ph.D. degrees. If they had gone out for Ph.D. to a University etc., it would have meant a break in their service. I was hesitant to become their guide for Ph.D.(clinical psychology) as I myself did not have a Ph.D. degree in clinical psychology but Dean’s office said that as per rules as Professor of Psychiatry I can be their guide. Finally I relented and became their guide for Ph.D. Both did outstanding work for their thesis. S.K.Verma worked on P.G.I. Neuroticism Scale while Dwarka Pershad worked on P.G.I. Memory Scale. Both obtained Ph.Ds and both rose in the regular faculty positions of P.G.I,. It is a matter of pride that the psychological tests developed by them have got national and international recognition and all the tests developed by them carry the prefix “P.G.I. scales”.
- The third challenge was to develop and create new psychological tools which are based on Indian clinical data, which are in local languages and are thus more suitable for our patients both for service and research. In general we succeeded greatly in this mission. P.G.I. psychological tests are now well known in the country. I am not going into details as the subject is covered in many other publications.