Food Security and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), India’s apex food regulator, has agreed to use the Triple E strategy for effective engagement with higher educational institutions (HEIs) regarding food safety and applied nutrition. The adoption of this strategy was decided upon during a discussion with the vice-chancellors of various private universities, academicians, the industry and industry associations. This comprehensive engagement framework that uses the three ‘E’s – Engage, Excite, Enable, was another important initiative to contextualize and update the food safety ecosystem in India and to facilitate upcoming food professionals of the future.
A more holistic concept
The discussion was attended by the joint secretary, ministry of human resource development (MHRD); the president and secretary general, ministry of food processing industries (MoFPI); the deputy director general, Association of Indian Universities (AIU), and representatives from the University Grants Commission (UGC), the National Institute of Food Technology and Entrepreneurship Management (NIFTEM); the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT); the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Association of Analytical Communities (AOAC) India.
Ensuring that employable skills are delivered by HEIs was the highlight of the discussion. A more holistic concept of ensuring safe and wholesome food instead of just preventing adulteration and the measures to co-develop and implement an updated curriculum that reflects this shift in thinking were also discussed.
The new curriculum
Practical learning through internships and fellowships, promoting interactive learning through opportunities for students to participate in socially-relevant, advocating merit scholarships for deserving students, along with a programme for faculty training and development were parts of the framework that was decided upon according to the publication.
FSSAI will reportedly explore opportunities for collaboration with MHRD and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for the further distribution of information. The regulator believes that it will be able to create a future-ready skilled workforce for the future food industry in India with this initiative.