Pondicherry University Hosts 59th National Conference of IAAP

Pondicherry University Hosts 59th National Conference of IAAP


The Indian Indian Academy of Applied Psychology (IAAP)’s 28th international and 59th national conference was inaugurated on 2nd February 2024, at Pondicherry University. The conference theme for this year was “Applying Psychology for Professional Excellence”. The 3-day conference (2nd – 4th February) was launched by the Lieutenant Governor of Pondicherry and the Chief Rector of Pondicherry University, Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan.


Founded in 1962, the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology (IAAP) is a professional body dedicated to the field of psychology. Its aims include promoting the advancement of the field and dissemination of knowledge and promoting a high standard of professional education and knowledge. It holds numerous events including conferences, (regional, national, or international), exhibitions, meetings, lectures, classes and discussions on Psychology. It also engages in exhibitions of new research apparatus of psychology. The organisation also publishes a biannual peer-reviewed academic journal which comprises empirical research on applied psychology in different domains, and sections that include case studies, book reviews, and letters to the editor.

Inauguration of the Event

During the inauguration of the conference, Ms Soundararajan mentioned that the theme of the conference was extremely relevant in an increasingly competitive era where an increasing proportion of the population across sections of society was struggling to cope with the stress and pressures of life and work.

She underlined that a state of health was not merely an absence of disease, but an overall balanced condition, which includes both physical and mental well-being. She went on to advise that people should seek psychological help if they detect that they are not well mentally, just as promptly as they would go to a physician for a physiological issue.

The Lt. Governor mentioned the importance of maintaining a positive outlook on external circumstances in maintaining a healthy mental frame. She mentioned that in her own experience, she has found that readiness to make slight adjustments is a very important skill. For example, it is much easier to start loving the food that is being cooked by one’s cook, instead of going to great lengths to find someone who cooks exactly according to one’s preferences and ending up disappointed. She highlighted that one must always focus on the positives in any situation.

She also expressed concerns about the rising rates of suicides among students. She urged youngsters to never compromise their happiness for anything. She mentioned that while they must acquire new skills and competencies, it should not come at the cost of their mental well-being. In her words, “Anything is possible in this world only if your mind is happy.”

During the launch of the conference, the Lt. Governor released the conference book of abstracts and the golden jubilee issue of the Journal of Indian Academy of Applied Psychology (1964-2024). She also distributed mementoes to international guests.

Agenda of the Conference

Ms Soundarajan said that the three-day conference, the attendees of which include several international and national experts, will act as a platform to share the latest psychological practices and innovations in the discipline, especially among students and budding professionals. It will also serve the larger aim of evolving a set of policy recommendations. Over a thousand delegates, including international participants, are in attendance at the conference.

The concept note of the conference states that the conference aims to bring together professionals from several fields to explore how psychology can improve professional practice and also contribute to personal growth, organisational success, and societal well-being. The objective is to better integrate the psychological knowledge produced through research into professional practice, not only in psychology but across various fields. It aims to encourage interdisciplinary collaborations and the exchange of ideas, which can foster innovative approaches to problem-solving.

The conference has several subthemes:

  1. Psychological well-being, which focuses on developing a work-life balance, preventing burnout, and promoting resilience and mental well-being in the workplace;
  2. Effective Communication and Interpersonal Skills, which involve an emphasis on active listening, empathetic communication skills, and emotional intelligence;
  3. Decision Making and Problem Solving, which aims at promoting an understanding of cognitive biases and heuristic decision-making processes, and developing critical thinking and problem-solving strategies;
  4. Leadership and Team Dynamics, which focuses on leadership theories and styles, and building diverse and inclusive teams.

The events of the conference include a keynote address, paper presentations by researchers and practitioners, workshops and seminars on emotional intelligence, leadership, and stress management, panel discussions by experts, exhibitions and poster sessions, Best Paper Awards and Recognitions, and Cultural and Social Events.

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