School of Behavioural Sciences established in 1988 under Mahatma Gandhi University has a variety of unique higher education programmes aimed at developing human resources in the field of disability rehabilitation and mental health for the upliftment of the weaker sections of the society. In India, we have many National Institutes instituted for the care of each of the disabilities.
School of Behavioural Sciences is one of the first University departments in India that started academic programmes in this field and addressed the problems and issues in all disabilities under a single roof with a holistic nature in the 1980’s itself. Academic programmes offered by the School are interdisciplinary in nature.
Research is undertaken by potential scholars in the various aspects of Disability Rehabilitation, Psychology, Special Education, Mental Health, Behavioural Medicine and Rehabilitation Nursing.
Faculty members engage in teaching and research in their respective area of specializations. The School with the faculty initiative started many centres with the aim of expansion of activities and advancement of knowledge production through its major centres including Inter-University Centre for Disability Studies [IUCDS], Institute of Research in Learning Disability (IRLD) and Department of Indian Sign Language (ISLD).The books and journal publications at national and international levels, various projects, collaborations with various agencies/institutions make the department an emerging centre of excellence in this field.
Student community under the department has the benefit of exposure of resource persons through special lectures, seminars and through international visiting faculties attending the department. Training in statistical packages and research methodology oriented courses make the students more efficient than other students from any other institutions. Advanced library facilities, computer and internet aided classrooms; projectors, etc make teaching-learning more students friendly and effective.
Innovative methods of teaching, field trips and study tours are part of curricular dissemination. Credit and Semester System with grading is followed which have provision for continuous and comprehensive evaluation of students and the feedback of teachers as well. Well maintained Student and Staff Association, Alumni and Parent-Teacher Association are noteworthy.
Community Extension Activities is one another major peculiarity of the School to highlight. Vocational Rehabilitation Centre (VRC) under the School leads the major role in such activities. Special Educators provide training for the adults with intellectual disability in the file making, tea vending service, the photo copier machine operation etc. This not only enables the mentally challenged individuals to become independent through earning from the concerned unit’s profits, but also it leads to radical change in the attitude of people towards the differently able population. ‘Santhwanam Clinic’ under the able leadership of an experienced Clinical Psychologist is a unique venture of the School which provides absolutely free services to hundreds of individuals in need of services like, Psychological testing, Early identification of disabilities and disorders, Counselling, Psychotherapy, etc.
In short, the School of Behavioural Sciences by effectively utilizing its multidisciplinary faculty and student resources has created a very unique way of teaching, research and extension in the field of special education, psychology, behavioural medicine and rehabilitation nursing.