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 Table of Contents    
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 110
Professor Adarsh Singh Mahal MBBS, DO, DPM, MD(16.06.1919- 18.05.2018)

Professor and Head, Department of Psychiatry Chief, National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029, India

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Date of Web Publication9-Jan-2019

How to cite this article:
Chadda RK. Professor Adarsh Singh Mahal MBBS, DO, DPM, MD(16.06.1919- 18.05.2018). Indian J Psychiatry 2019;61:110

How to cite this URL:
Chadda RK. Professor Adarsh Singh Mahal MBBS, DO, DPM, MD(16.06.1919- 18.05.2018). Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2019 [cited 2022 Nov 28];61:110. Available from:

Professor Adarsh Singh Mahal was born on June 16, 1919 at Chak No. 252, Sillanwali Station, District Sargodha (Now in Pakistan). His original name was Darshan, which he changed to Adarsh, when he joined the Medical School at Amritsar in 1937. He had strong academic credentials from beginning having stood first in the District in Matriculation. Adarsh Singh Mahal received his Licensate State Medical Faculty (LSMF) with Honours in 1941. At that time the Second World War was in full swing and he was recruited into the British Indian Army, where he served from 1941 to 1947. During this period, he was posted in Burma, Sumatra Island, Indonesia, Malaysia and Baluchistan. In March 1947, he got married to Ms Nasib Kaur. In 1948, Dr Mahal completed a condensed course and received his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), from Amritsar Medical College, standing third in his class. His academic conquests did not stop here and in 1953 he received Diploma in Ophthalmology (D.O.) from Punjab University.

After finishing his MBBS and DO, Dr Mahal served as Civil Surgeon for the police line in Amritsar, and later as Deputy Medical, Mental Hospital, Amritsar, where he came in contact with the legendry Dr Vidya Sagar. This posting resulted in kindling of his interest in Psychiatry. This was the period that Dr Mahal developed interest in psychiatry, and took over formal training in the discipline and also contributed to its growth in the country. In 1958, Dr Mahal joined Diploma in Psychological Medicine (DPM) at the All India Institute of Mental Health (AIIMH), Bangalore and finished in 1960. Afterwards, he joined as Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry at the Government Medical College, Patiala.

In 1962, Dr Mahal shifted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi as assistant professor in psychiatry. He was the first regular faculty member in psychiatry at AIIMS (Dr Luvia Taylor Gregg had been there at AIIMS as Honorary Consultant in Psychiatry, who is also credited with introducing 80-100 hours of teaching in psychiatry in MBBS at AIIMS). AIIMS started its MD Psychiatry in 1963 after Dr D Satyanand joined as Professor of Psychiatry. The academic fire in Dr Mahal was so strong that he also enrolled for MD in Psychiatry despite being a faculty member in psychiatry and finished in Dec 1966. He also served as Senior Commonwealth Fellow and Honorary lecturer in Psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh for about a year 1967-68.

Later he shifted from AIIMS to AIIMH (Now NIMHANS), Bangalore as Associate Professor of Psychiatry and in 1970 became Professor and Head, Head of Department and served there till 1976. He is remembered as a strict disciplinarian by his past students including Professor KA Kumar, Professor Mohan Isaac and Professor Kalyana Sundaram. Professor SC Malik was student during his stay at AIIMS and his colleague at AIIMS, Bangalore.

In 1976, he came back to Delhi and served as Medical Superintendent at the Hospital for Mental Diseases (now IHBAS) for about a year and retired from the Government service in 1977 at the age of 58. Subsequently, he was in private practice in Delhi till 1994, when he decided to migrate to live with his sons in USA.

Professor Mahal was elected President, Indian Psychiatric Society in 1974 and delivered his Presidential Address in January 1975 at the annual conference of the society held at Trivandrum. His address entitled “Psychiatry in India” is a true reflection of the discipline at that time and makes a scholarly reading. Dr Mahal had special interest in psychotherapy, role of family in psychiatric treatment and social psychiatry. In 1989 he received the Scroll of Honour from the Indian Medical Association. In 1990 he was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Delhi Psychiatric Society.

Thus, Professor Mahal had a distinguished career as a clinician, psychiatrist, academician and researcher. He is survived by Mrs Nasib Kaur, his wife of 71 years, 3 sons and daughter in laws, 7 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.

Compiled by

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rakesh K Chadda
Professor and Head, Department of Psychiatry Chief, National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.249677

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