THE MAHARASHTRA University of Health Sciences, Nashik, on Friday announced the launch of the Centre’s mental wellness app ‘Mental health and normalcy augmentation system’ (MANAS) for its 5,000 medical students across 469 colleges.
Students can register on the website and download the app. The Armed Forces Research College (AFMC), Pune, will conduct the back-end research on data collected for this pilot project for six months so that authorities can identify the stressors that medical students deal with.
MANAS is an initiative by the office of the Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India. Prof K VijayRaghavan, then principal scientific advisor, had announced a soft launch last year and laid down directions for the app development. MANAS was endorsed as a national programme by the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC).
Lt Gen Madhuri Kanitkar (retd), vice-chancellor of MUHS and a member of PM-STIAC, had highlighted that MANAS is based on life skills and core psychological process with universal accessibility and promoting positive attitude based on wellness. It integrates health and wellness efforts of various government ministries with scientifically validated indigenous tools researched by various national bodies. The project was jointly executed by NIMHANS Bengaluru, AFMC Pune and C-DAC Bengaluru.
Dr Ketaki Bapat, who conceptualised and executed this mission, told The Indian Express that more than 1000 people have used the app in a pilot mode – in different parts of the country – and the response from Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, especially, has been positive. She stressed that there was a need for constant upgradation for any kind of research and hence long-term programmes are required. “That’s why we have now decided to take this MANAS programme forward,” she said.
MoU with NARI, NCCS
The MUHS also announced a memorandum of understanding on various research aspects with National AIDS Research Institute and National Centre for Cell Science in Pune for a period of three years.