Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : NIN
Mains level : NIN and its mandate
- The National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) has said that it stands by its findings certifying mid-day meals without onion and garlic provided by the Akshaya Patra Foundation (APF) in Karnataka schools as compliant with nutritional norms laid down by the State government.
Issue over NIN decision
- APF provides food under the government’s mid-day meals programme at 2,814 schools in the State.
- Absence of onion and garlic from meals made the food unpalatable and resulted in children consuming less quantity of food.
- The issue is not just about absorption of nutrients, but is also about the food not being as per local tastes.
- The most important question that authorities are glossing over is why not provide onion and garlic, which are available all round the year and are cheaper than other ingredients.
- The National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) is an Indian Public health, Nutrition and Translational research center located in Hyderabad.
- The institute is one of the oldest research centers in India, and the largest center, under the Indian Council of Medical Research, located in the vicinity of Osmania University.
- It was founded by Sir Robert McCarrison in the year 1918 as ‘Beri-Beri’ Enquiry Unit in a single room laboratory at the Pasteur Institute, Coonoor, Tamil Nadu.
- Within a short span of seven years, this unit blossomed into a “Deficiency Disease Enquiry” and later in 1928, emerged as full-fledged “Nutrition Research Laboratories” (NRL) with Dr. McCarrison as its first Director.
- It was later shifted to Hyderabad in 1958.
- At the time of its golden jubilee in 1969, it was renamed as National Institute of Nutrition (NIN).
Mandate of NIN
- Periodic Assessment of Nutrient intakes, Health and Nutrition status of the population for optimal health, and assist the Government and regulatory bodies in policy making
- Establishment of Dietary Reference Intake values, Recommended Dietary allowances, Dietary guidelines for Indian population; and assessment of Nutrient Composition of Foods
- Identify various nutrition deficiency disorders prevalent among different segments of the population
- Conduct operational research for planning and implementation of National Nutrition Programmes in the country
- Conduct surveys and study the risk factors of NCDs through multidisciplinary research
- Conduct innovative basic science Research on nutrient interactions, requirements, responses etc
- Identify and study food and environmental safety challenges for providing scientific input for policy and regulation
- Development of human resource in nutrition and also provide evidence-based nutrition knowledge to the community