A meet for understanding the current trends in military psychology
The Defence Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR), a Delhi-based laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is hosting the 58th Conference of International Military Testing Association (IMTA) in New Delhi from 8 November 2016. The four-day long conference is being held in India for the first time and will be inaugurated by the Minister of State for Defence, Dr. Subhash Bhamre. Chaired by Ms Susan Truscott, Director General of Military Personnel Research & Analysis, Canada, the Indian team will be headed by Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO, Dr. S Christopher.
The theme of the Conference this year is “Psychological Assessment: Shaping the Future Soldier”, which suits the recent trends of research that DIPR is pursuing related to the issues and concerns of our Armed Forces. The event will bring together experts in psychological assessment across the globe along with DRDO’s partners from Armed Forces on a common platform to discuss and deliberate upon topics like multi-method approach in Personnel Selection for the Armed Forces, International Perspectives on Assessing and Countering Destructive Leadership and Combat Stress Behaviours.
The Conference would also include 18 technical sessions which would focus on areas like Selection, Testing, Resilience, Aptitude, Training, Leadership and Positive psychology.
Over 127 delegates from 21 countries viz., Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Republic of Korea, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, New Zealand, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA and hosts India would attend the event. Participants from India would include DRDO scientists and Armed Forces Personnel with the Army, Navy and Air Force, associated as partners in this conference.
IMTA, the largest congregation of military psychologists is an International Non- profit body with 27 member countries under it, which deals with defence related issues and provides a forum for the exchange of ideas among all member countries. This conference is held annually in one of the member countries where various issues pertaining to military context are deliberated on, such as training, leadership, selection, testing, occupational analysis, aviation psychology, human factors and soldier effectiveness etc.
The conference theme thus is not only an attempt to exchange notes on the current trends in the discipline of military psychology all over the world, but also to create pathways for incorporating the changing realities of the social, political, economic and cultural milieu into the selection and assessment systems.
DIPR is actively involved in research of military psychology and provides various psychological services to Indian Armed Forces. DIPR’s major objectives include taking on new areas of research related to military personnel’s selection, training, organisational behaviour, high altitude research, motivation and other issues related to Armed Forces. The assessment system, methodologies, techniques and tests developed by DIPR are being applied for selection of candidates for India’s Armed Forces.
Interestingly, there have been reports of the corporate sector considering the Indian armed forces selection system/criteria quite ideal and attracting/picking up qualified officer candidates to join companies instead of their joining up at training academies. There have also been cases of picking up officer cadets who have already begun their training by paying up for their withdrawal from the training academies.