I am happy to share with you that the Department of Health Research (DHR), Government of India has been endeavouring to bring modern health technologies to the people through research and innovations. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is the most important part of this endeavour and the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) is the oldest and the most important ambassador of Nutrition for nation’s well-being. For the last 100 years, NIN has been at the forefront of nutrition research. From the modest beginnings of being a Beri-Beri Enquiry Unit to an Institute of national importance in 1930s and further its growth to an institute of international repute, the century long journey of the Institute is replete with milestones and significant contributions to the public health of the country.
As the only nutrition research institute in the country, NIN has always been the frontrunner of research contributing to meaningful programmes and policies at the country level. Whether it is the evidence base for supplementary nutrition programmes/policy/food regulation; whether it is the generation of database on nutritive values of foods/ food safety or developing recommended dietary allowances, NIN has always lived up to the occasion. During all these years, NIN has constantly metamorphosed itself to live up to the nutrition needs of the country.
In today’s scenario, when the National Health Policy of India 2017 is stressing on preventive and promotive care, nutrition has a quintessential role to play. Added to this, there is a major shift in the disease profile of India. The past few national level studies carried out by ICMR clearly indicate that the prevalence of communicable diseases is coming down but the non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are emerging to be the rapidly growing public health problems. Lack of diet diversity has also been creating problems of micronutrient deficiencies. Concomitant with this fluid scenario of co-existence of multiple nutrition problems, NIN through its research has been constantly endeavoring to address all kinds of malnutrition – undernutrition, overnutrition and associated NCDs and micronutrient deficiencies.
Recognizing the need for multi-pronged approach to nutrition research, NIN has been pro-active to develop synergistic partnerships and tie-ups with organizations in different sectors including agriculture, health, tribal development, academia, practitioners and industry. It is not only timely but also in tune with national agenda where nutrition is being viewed as an important tool for development. I extend my full support to these efforts and wish the institute the best.