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National Institute of Nutrition (NIN)

Topics Covered:

  1. Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

 

National Institute of Nutrition (NIN)

 

What to study?

For Prelims: About Midday meals scheme and Akshaya Patra foundation.

For Mains: Features, need and significance of the scheme, performance analysis of the scheme.

 

Context: 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.

 

About Akshaya Patra:

Funded by International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Akshaya Patra is a Bengaluru-based not-for-profit organisation that works with the government on mid-day meal schemes. It has a state-of-the-art kitchen in Vrindavan.

Today, Akshaya Patra is the world’s largest (not-for-profit run) Mid-Day Meal Programme serving wholesome food every school day to over 1.76 million children from 14,702 schools across 12 states in India.

 

What’s the issue?

In January, 2019, the Karnataka government had asked NIN to assess APF meals for nutritional compliance, food safety, taste and diversity of meals following objections by the Karnataka State Food Commission as well as activists that absence of onion and garlic from meals made the food unpalatable and resulted in children consuming less quantity of food.

 

About National Institute of Nutrition (NIN):

  • It 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.
  • 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. 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

 

Sources: The Hindu.