होम News Central Institute of Psychiatry (CIP) Ranchi : Tracing Its Historical Footprints

Central Institute of Psychiatry (CIP) Ranchi : Tracing Its Historical Footprints


Central Institute of Psychiatry (CIP): Tracing Its Historical Footprints

The Central Institute of Psychiatry (CIP), a bastion of mental health care and education, traces its origins back to the era of British colonial rule in India. On 17 May 1918, under the name ‘Ranchi European Lunatic Asylum,‘ the British established a hospital with a modest capacity of 174 patients (92 males and 82 females). Notably, this institution exclusively catered to the mental health needs of European patients, operating under the direct supervision of the Government of Bihar (at that time, Jharkhand was part of Bihar).

In 1922, a significant transformation occurred when the institution was placed under the administration of a board of trustees, representing various state governments. Simultaneously, its nomenclature was changed to the ‘European Mental Hospital.’ Remarkably, this year marked a milestone when the institute was affiliated with the University of London, introducing the Diploma in Psychological Medicine examination—a pioneering initiative given the absence of postgraduate Psychiatry training in India during that period.

Historical Milestones

  • 1922: Establishment of the first Occupational Therapy Department.
  • 1943: Introduction of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT).
  • 1947: Commencement of Psychosurgery and Neurosurgery.
  • 1948: Inception of Clinical psychology and Electroencephalography (EEG) departments.
  • 1952: Addition of a full-fledged neuropathology section.
  • 1952-1953: Pioneering use of Lithium and chlorpromazine.
  • 1954: Establishment of a modern radiology department, equipped for cerebral angiography, pneumoencephalography, air ventriculography, and myelography.
  • 1950: Launch of a Child guidance clinic.
  • 1967: Introduction of a Rural mental health clinic at Mander.
  • 1967: Establishment of a rehabilitation center and sheltered workshop.
  • 1973: Creation of an industrial psychiatry unit at HEC, Ranchi.

Role in Establishing the Indian Psychiatric Society

In 1948, the Central Institute of Psychiatry played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Indian Psychiatric Society, a testament to its contributions to the field. Additionally, it played a crucial part in drafting the Bill that would later become the Mental Health Act of India in 1987. The first draft of this bill was penned at C.I.P, Ranchi, in 1949 by luminaries such as Dr. R.B. Davis, the then Medical Superintendent, Dr. S.A. Hasib from the Indian Mental Hospital, Ranchi, and Dr. J. Roy from Mental Hospital, Gwalior, all of whom had affiliations with C.I.P. at various points in their careers.

CIP: A Haven for Mental Health

Spread across a sprawling 210-acre lush green campus, the hospital houses 16 wards—nine for male patients, six for female patients, and a Family Unit. Renowned as the largest psychiatric hospital in Asia, CIP Ranchi boasts a bed capacity of 643. The architectural legacy of the British Raj is evident in its pavilion-style wards, named after distinguished European psychiatrists and physicians. The facility’s layout features well-maintained roads and verdant lawns.

Unlike conventional mental hospitals, CIP Ranchi embraces an open and humane approach. Patients are not confined to rooms but are free to explore within the hospital’s boundaries. Every year, approximately 3,000 patients receive admission and treatment, emphasizing individualized care. Various therapeutic modalities, including pharmacotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy, psychotherapies, and family interventions, are integral to the treatment process. Patients actively participate in ward management, fostering a milieu therapy approach.

Moreover, CIP Ranchi offers an array of activities such as physical exercise, outdoor and indoor games, and yoga to enhance patients’ well-being. A well-stocked library with resources in multiple languages, including English, Hindi, Urdu, and Bengali, is accessible to patients.

A Hub for Mental Health Professionals

CIP Ranchi stands as a premier training center for mental health professionals in India. As early as 1923, it received recognition for the D.P.M. of England, offering postgraduate courses in Psychiatry when such programs were scarce in India. In 1962, the institute introduced postgraduate training with D.P.M. and D.M. & S.P. courses. Subsequently, it expanded its course offerings to include:

  • M.D. (Psychiatry)
  • Diploma in Psychological Medicine
  • Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
  • M.Phil. in Medical & Social Psychology/M.Phil Clinical Psychology (from 2012 onward)
  • M.Phil. in Psychiatric Social Work
  • Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing

The institute maintains an affiliation with Ranchi University, and admission to these courses is conducted through open advertisements.

Challenges and Criticisms

Over the years, CIP Ranchi has faced challenges and criticisms, reflecting the complex landscape of mental health care:

  • 2013 Student Strike: MPhil and PhD students protested for the recognition of their courses by the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI), citing inadequate staffing and quality concerns.
  • Mass Breakout of Patients (1984): A major patient escape highlighted issues like low staff morale and poor conditions within the hospital.
  • Detention of Chinese Prisoner of War (2000): The detention of two Chinese military officers raised international attention.
  • Patient Suicides (2005): Reports suggested inadequate staffing and raised questions about patient-staff ratios.

Despite these challenges, CIP Ranchi remains a significant institution in the realm of mental health, evolving and adapting to meet the needs of patients and aspiring mental health professionals.

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