The Institute of Optical Advancement was established in the year 1983 by Mr. R.N. Bhargava, a Visionary and former President of the Federation of Indian Optical Associations. The first course on “Ophthalmic Optics” was organized in the same year. The response was overwhelming. With the passage of time six other courses were added to practically cover every aspect of the profession. All these courses have been drawn up to enable the students to attain a minimum standard of working in the shortest possible time.
The Profession of Ophthalmologist, Optometrist and Opticians is very noble. They are all concerned with the Vision Care. While there are well structured and recognized courses for Ophthalmologists and Optometrists, there is very little organized education for Opticians. In many cases the optical profession is carried out as family business, passed on from one generation to other, while in others, a person with little experience of working in an Optical shop, starts his own. In both the cases the basic qualification or knowledge is ignored. This point has been brought home by Mr. R.N. Bhargava at various international forums such World Council of Optometry and UNESCO.
Unfortunately, this number is quite high in developing countries, as a result of which persons without proper medical or technical background find themselves handicapped in doing their work accurately and scientifically. Sight Testing is a mechanical process and can be done by an Optometrist or by a Refracting Optician after proper training. However they are required to have full knowledge connected with the refractive part of the Eye. The technique of Sight Testing and Spectacle dispensing can be learnt easily by attending short courses conducted by the Institute. The courses have been designed assuming an average theoretical and practical knowledge. However, certain flexibility in duration has been inbuilt in cases requiring longer time.
At the end of each course, an examination is conducted by the Institute and the successful candidates are provided with a Certificate as proof of proficiency. Till now more than 1,500 students from various backgrounds have benefited from the institute.