Figure 1. The conceptualization of IKSMHA is grounded in mind, brain, and consciousness via applications from consciousness studies, yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, traditional Indian medicinal research, and other Indian performing arts (Music, dance, traditional Indian languages, etc.).
The research and teaching under the Centre would include the following IKS areas: Consciousness studies, yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, traditional Indian medicine research, and other Indian performing arts. The Centre's research would be grounded in the interdisciplinary scientific methods and it would involve a number of methodologies from cognitive science, neuroscience, computer science, sports science, chemistry, biology, and experiment design.
The proposed Centre will be unique on account of the following:
It will be the first of its kind Centre focused on the rural Himachali communities in India.
It will be the first of its kind Centre at an IIT in India.
It will be the first of its kind Centre that brings topics concerning IKS and MH under a common umbrella.
It will be the first of its kind Centre that offers a socio-techno wellness for outreach.
It will be the first of its kind Centre that offers an interdisciplinary mix of faculty and programs.
The Centre would establish research labs like EEG/MEG lab, Neurostimulation lab, Eye-tracking lab, AR/VR and Motion lab, Psychology, data collection, and AI/ML lab, Dance and Music lab, Biosensors lab, Cellular, Molecular, and Analytical lab, IKS Wellness Centre, and teaching labs. The Centre would also cater to a number of degree programs at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. These programs include B. Tech. in Computer Science (with specializations in Cognitive Science/IKS/MH/neuroscience/AI and ML). Furthermore, some of the postgraduate programs include MH-focused M.Tech. programs in Cognitive Science/IKS/MH/neuroscience/AI and ML. Finally, the Centre would also include a Ph.D. program in IKS and MH areas. The teaching programs would be supported via a number of teaching labs.
The IKSMHA Centre plans to have several deliverables/outcomes that are going to be beneficial to society. Some of the outcomes are detailed below:
High-quality research that evaluates the efficacy of IKS and MH among both the healthy and unhealthy populations.
Skill development activities produce next-generation IKS and MH researchers, which include undergraduate students, postgraduate students, doctoral, postdoctoral, and faculty.
State-of-the-art facility for research in areas in IKS and MH in India, which can be leased by other researchers and labs in India and abroad for research.
State-of-the-art IKS Wellness Centre, which provides a bouquet of IKS interventions for improving mental health and wellbeing. This Centre could be utilized by both national and international visitors, who would like to experience IKS and Indian art in the pristine Himalayan environment.