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The School of Humanities and Social Science (SoHSS), GD Goenka University (GDGU) organized its first International Conference on Applied Psychology(GDGU-ICAP) titled, Power, Perception and Personality: Protagonists of Changeon 3rd & 4th March 2016. Scholars, psychiatrists, political analysts, film-makers, theatre artists and activists from across major universities and institutions in India and abroad were invited to participate in the Conference. The Conference aimed to bring in academicians, professionals, policy makers, researchers and institutions together on one platform in the pursuit of knowledge, sustainable methodologies and opportunities for a global audience and market.

The conference began with the Keynote address by Dr.Updesh Kumar, Head, Mental Health Division, DRDOwho deconstructed the usual academic and applied scope of Psychology, its studies, application and practices to give new directions and approaches to the discipline. It was followed by the address by the Guest of Honour, Mr Bertrand de Harting, Cultural Counsellor and Director of the InstitutFrancaise en Inde, who emphasised the necessity for a transcultural approach towards perspective building, conflict resolution and personality enhancement in today’s global world.

This was followed by an extremely insightful Plenary Session, where the speakersDr. Samir Parikh, Dr.VasanthaPatri and Ms A. Mangai acquainted us with their perspectives on the socio-historical as well as literary drifts in the matrix of psychological studies through their interdisciplinary approaches as well as through their expertise in Applied Psychology, Theatre, Literature and Counselling.

On the second day, a very interesting Panel Discussion, For Half the Sky, For Half the Earth: Where do Women Stand Today?, was organised with a very eclectic combination of panellists, Dr.Vani Jain, a Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr.Ranjita Biswas, an active social educator and Ms.Leena Ratnawat, Sarpanch, Bhankrota, Rajasthan. The panellists extensively discussed the current psycho-social scenario for women empowerment.The panel was chaired by Prof KakoliSen, Dean, SoHSS.

Real highlight of the conference had been the 45 paper presentations attended diligently by students and faculty, as well as over 60 delegates in two sets of parallel sessions. It was a productive exchange of research, ideas and ideologies across topics ranging from Aviation Psychology to Human-robot interactions to Geriatric Psychology to the need of Sex-education in Children to Queer Dating websites to Internet Addiction Disorder to the Sexualised Body of the migrant male to a study of migrant South-Asian women to Stockholm Syndrome to Art Therapy to A Case study of US Psychological Warfare.The symptomatic range of these topics spokevolumes about the vision of this conference to create a space where both young and experienced academics could engage in a fruitful, interactive exploration of their areas of interest in the field of Applied Psychology.

To grace the conference with a rich dose of heritage, a beautiful Kathakali recital by Shri Evoor Rajendran Pillai, Principal of International Centre for Kathakali was arranged. The recital was an adaptation of Shakespeares Othellowhich exemplified the vision of the conference: inter-disciplinarity, varieties, depth, projection and an appreciation of the globalised existence.

Two-day conference ended with a Valedictory session and giving away two awards. Dr Divya Kumawat received the Best Paper Award for the paper, Art Therapy: Bringing Change in Approaches to Counselling Children with Behavioural Issues and Ms Shanu Shukla received the Best Paper-presenter Award for her paper, Impact of Media, Multitasking on Emotion Recognition Ability.

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