Extension and Training (E&T) Division is an important arm of the Institute and it is the first contact point to the general public who visit the Institute. The Division’s strength lies in scientists from diverse backgrounds with rich experience in sociology, dietetics, health communication, media, extension and training.
The Division’s main activities are nutrition communication research, nutrition extension, education, human resource development and training. Regular training programmes are conducted on various aspects of nutrition for medical doctors, nutritionists and biochemists. Need-based ad-hoc training programmes are organized for the frontline health functionaries, practitioners, community volunteers etc.
In addition, the division brings out a wide variety of Communication material including popular publications, periodicals, charts, leaflets, films and posters on Nutrition. Recently, the Division has brought out a string of educational films and multi-media educational aids in association with Educational Multi Media Research Centre (EMMRC) and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC).
The division brings out publications on various aspects of nutrition and health which are quite popular among the general public, health professionals and students. Apart from these publications, the division brings out a quarterly bulletin “Nutrition” and a semi-technical periodical “Nutrition News”. The division also runs a free diet counselling centre to cater to the needs of the general public and there is an overwhelming response from people from various walks life.
The Division also functions as the public relations wing of NIN.
Objectives of the Division
- Extension and communication Research
- Outreach and Extension programmes
- Human Resource Development through regular and ad hoc training programmes in nutrition and health
- Development of need-based nutrition communication material
- Media and public relations
- Carried out studies on nutrition knowledge, awareness among adolescent girls, rural women and student volunteers to evolve strategies for nutrition education, IEC material using diverse media and different communication methods.
- Evaluated the use of different methods of communication tools like folk dance format, video films, CD roms and FAO’s global lesson plans with multi-pronged strategies combining top-down, lateral and participatory approaches of communication to promote nutrition in two broad settings – firstly, in schools and secondly, in the community.
- Content analysis of nutrition information in school science textbooks of India brought out the lacunae in curricula and the findings set direction for strengthening the content in textbooks to promote nutrition.
- Study on coverage of nutrition-related topics among leading English and vernacular dailies revealed that the nutrition articles were over-emphasized and inconsistent which could confuse the readers
- As part of human resource development activities, many participant groups of students, health professionals, frontline health workers, functionaries of Food and Nutrition Board, WHO fellows etc were trained in different aspects of community and applied through regular and ad hoc training programmes.
Present Research Activities
- Research studies are being carried out to evaluate the use of space technology enabled village resource centres (VRCs) run by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for dissemination of nutrition knowledge in rural areas.
- Studies are being conducted to disseminate nutrition knowledge to school students by creating a wide network of oorja (energy) clubs in school.
- Appropriate educational intervention strategies are being evolved through research for educating adolescents and using food labels for making healthy food choices.
- Assessment of nutrition content covered in print media for its validity and accuracy.
- Revamping of the nutrition museum and developing a mobile nutrition exhibition.
Thrust areas for future
- Nutrition communication material development.
- Expanding the scope of training programmes in order to reach out to as many diverse groups as possible.
- Exhibition and Publication Sales Counter on wheels.
- Initiation of 1 year PG Diploma course in affiliation with Dr.NTRUHS for Medical doctors, nutritionists and biochemists.
Research in Health Communication, Health systems and food risk communication in collaboration with other Divisions of the Institute.