Chandigarh, March 24, GEI School of Optometry, North India’s only private sector Institute of Medical Research & Education, launched by Grewal Eye Institute,
the comprehensive Eye Care Institute based at Chandigarh, today organised a Free Career Seminar for the +2 students at GEI premises. The Free Career Seminar was organised on the occasion of ‘World Optometry Day’ (March 23).
GEI School of Optometry is offering medical students India’s first, four year, full-time, professional BSc (Hons) degree course in Optometry and Ophthalmic Techniques, from the coming academic session. The course is affiliated to Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi. GEI School of Optometry has been approved as a programme study center to conduct the degree.
Speaking at the Seminar, Ms Anuja R Singh, Programme-Incharge, GEI School of Optometry said, "Our course provides excellent job opportunities to students at the completion of four years. Top performing students and interns will be regularly absorbed in-house at GEI. Besides this, the student counseling department will help and guide the students in getting appropriate placements. On completion of this course, a graduate can work in eye institutes in India and abroad, in clinical, research or teaching capacity. They can join optical industry MNCs like Bausch and Lomb, Johnson and Johnson, Essilor, Carl Zeiss, etc. They can work in conjunction with individuals or group ophthalmic practices. Or they can simply choose to be self-employed. The current pay-scales for institutionally qualified optometrists are around 2.5 lacs per annum to 6 lacs per annum according to their experience."
The course, consisting of three years of theoretical studies & one year of clinical internship, commences July 2008. Students, with scores of minimum 50% marks in Physics, Chemistry and Biology in 10+2, who are above 17 years of age are eligible.
Optometry is an independent, self-sufficient, primary eye care profession. Though it is a developing field in India, in Western countries, it is very well-developed and advanced. Unlike an ordinary optician who is qualified only to fit and dispense eyewear, an institutionally qualified Optometrist has a very large and important role in eye care. An Optometrist performs regular eye examinations, practices Orthoptics, public health optometry, counseling services & low-vision aids, assesses and diagnoses systemic diseases, refers patients to appropriate specialists and acts as a primary eye care provider.
This course balances a foreseeable crunch of trained medical manpower in the coming times, and at the same time it provides youth today with a superb career opportunity with enormous potential for growth. In India there is already a growing demand of trained optometric professionals at excellent pay-packages. Optometry also provides a highly respectable platform for further studies in India and abroad. In the developed world, Optometry is one of the most sought after courses. For example, in Gulf countries like Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Qatar etc., even an optical outlet is not licensed to operate without a qualified Optometrist. Even retail supermarkets and duty free shops must have a qualified Optometrist if they sell eye-wear. Optometry can hence provide tremendous opportunities oversees too.
A recent survey has shown that the population to optometrist ratio in India is two lakhs to one whereas in developed countries like USA & Europe it is ten thousand to one. In United States of America, Optometry is the sixth most sought after profession. Industry estimates in India predict requirement of over two lakhs institutionally qualified optometrists as opposed to the current availability of a meager 5000 optometrists.
The course also provides a highly reliable platform for those interested in further studies in India or abroad. After doing BSc, students can opt for M.Opt., M.Phil., M.S., or Ph.D., courses in India and abroad. In addition to this, in USA, students can also pursue O.D., (Doctor of Optometry) course from any one of 18 accredited US universities.