Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) have signed an MoU for implementation of FSSAI’s Food Safety Training and Certification (FOSTAC) Programmes through IGNOU network. IGNOU would act as an important Training Partner in capacity building activities of the FSSAI.
The MoU was signed between the Shri Pawan Kumar Agarwal, Chief Executive Officer and Registrar IGNOU, Shri Jitendra Kumar Srivastava in the presence of Prof. S. B. Arora, Vice Chancellor, IGNOU. Ms. Madhavi Das, Chief Management Services Officer, FSSAI, was also present.
FSSAI’s CEO Shri Pawan Kumar Agarwal expressed his pleasure on signing of the agreement and said that implementation of the new Food Safety Regulations, is a gigantic and multi-faceted task ranging from generating awareness to harmonization with the International Codex standards among all the stakeholders of the food chain. Our country needs a large number of well trained human resources for implementing the Food Safety Regulations in the organized and unorganized sectors of the food industry as it has become mandatory for all Food Business Operators (FBOs) to have at least on FSSAI trained and certified Food Safety Supervisor (FSS). With organized retail growth and automation of supply chain, the Food Industry is poised for even higher growth, he remarked and therefore, the FOSTAC programmes need to be delivered through multiple channels.
IGNOU’s VC Prof. S. B. Arora also welcomed the academic collaboration of this kind and added that IGNOU framework is best suited for a large and varied group of human resource to be trained in the area of Food Safety to ensure safe and wholesome food in the country. The University has a strong network of Regional Centres and Study Centres as well as media facilities for a wider dissemination of educational and training resources across the country in a cost effective manner. He also added that the Govt. of India has recognized IGNOU has an important partner in offering of MOOC courses through Swayam and Swayam Prabha channels.
Under the arrangement, IGNOU shall harness its wide network of IGNOU Regional Centres and Study Centres to conduct Food Safety Supervisor training programmes related to Street food vending, catering, Manufacturing, retail and distribution, Storage and Transport and specialized courses located throughout the country. IGNOU shall also amalgamate the training content in its curriculum and study materials of the on-going programmes in the areas of food processing and food safety. IGNOU shall develop and offer online MOOCs programmes using the resources available with the FSSAI. IGNOU will help FSSAI in transmitting the FOSTAC Courses through its ICT network like website (Online), Gyanvani, Gyandarshan, SWAYAM PRABHA, etc.
FSSAI will approve IGNOU as training partner for implementation of the FOSTAC training programmes. IGNOU Regional Centres / Study Centres will be approved as Training Centres / Venue for conducting the training programmes. FSSAI will share its training facilities and resources (Training materials and experts / officials) with IGNOU which can also be used for integration with existing courses and developing new or additional courses / programmes by IGNOU. The integration the FOSTAC courses with the existing educational / training programmes / courses and enrolling the students in the FOSTAC training programmes across the country will enable them to get additional certificate from FSSAI which will add value to their professional career and job potential.
FSSAI will help in mobilization of target group for the educational and training programmes through its FOSTAC platform and linkage with the industry and corporate bodies. FSSAI will help IGNOU in identifying the resource persons / experts for recording of audio/ video programmes and preparation of study materials as and when required. FSSAI will conduct TOT programmes for the IGNOU nominated trainers across the country.;
IGNOU will also provide academic support for Translation / Regionalization / Revision & Upgradation of training content. IGNOU will also help FSSAI in developing multi-media content like audio/video films which will be used for the educational and training programmes.