21st Dr E Vaithilingam Memorial Scientific Session

21st Dr E Vaithilingam Memorial Scientific Session March 4 & 5, 2023

Dr E Vaithilingam (fondly called Dr EV) was a pioneer in the field of Optometry. He served as the Principal of Elite School of Optometry from February 1991 – March 2001. Dr EV was well known for his technical expertise, innovations, and enthusiasm in the field of optometry. He was an ardent researcher with over 100 publications. He was the mainstay of the Elite School and it is to his credit that ESO has obtained an international reputation. In 2002, in memory of the late Principal Dr E Vaithilingam, ESO initiated a national scientific session to encourage optometrists and optometry students from all over India to present their research work. Every year, the quality and quantity of presentations have been increasing exponentially.

This year the 21st Dr E Vaithilingam Memorial Scientific Session was conducted in-person after three long years of online sessions. The session was held on March 4 and 5, 2023 in the VD Swami Auditorium, Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai. We had over 300 participants from about 20 different Optometry institutions across the country. This year’s EVM session was organized under the most important theme of “Optometry 2030 Insight – Elevate, Integrate and Activate”. On Day 1, We had 2 key note speakers.

Dr Prema Chande – Head: Department of Optometry, Lotus College of Optometry gave the keynote lecture on ‘2030 Insight: Elevate’ and Prof B R Shamanna – University of Hyderabad gave the other keynote lecture on ‘2030 Insight: Integrate’. Following which a panel discussion was conducted on ‘2030 Insight: Activate’. The panellists for the session were: Mr Govindakrishnan (Nethrodaya), Dr Anuradha Narayanan (ESO), Dr Rishi Raj Borah (Orbis), Adv.Vijayakumar, Ms Lakshmi Shinde (Optometry Council of India). The session was moderated by Dr Rashima Asokan.

On this day, ESO launched a new fellowship program named Fellowship in Community Optometry (FCO), which will comprise asynchronous online and in-person hands on training on community outreach services including School eye screening, adult comprehensive outreach, occupational optometry services, training, research basics and education. The fellowship was launched by Dr T S Surendran (Chairman), Dr Girish S Rao (President), Dr Smita Praveen (Director – Academics), Dr Rishi Raj Borah (orbis) along with the key note speakers.

On Day 2, we had a brief session on ‘Optometry and Vision Science – Unanswered Questions’. Three important questions were addressed by the speakers. Dr Pavan Verkicharla, Vision Scientist, Head – Myopia Centre at LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad addressed the question on ‘Why are my scientific papers getting rejected?’. Dr Anuradha Narayanan, Principal – Elite School of Optometry addressed the question on ‘Are we equipping our students for independent optometry practice?’. Dr Rashima Asokan, Head – Occupational Optometry Services and Vision Enhancement Clinic, Sankara Nethralaya addressed the question on ‘Should Preventive/Promotive be the key practice area of optometrists?’. The session was moderated by Ms Ramya S, Doctoral Researcher – ESO, Sankara Nethralaya.

Besides this, 3 important workshops were conducted on Basics of Binocular Vision, Contact lens and Special Children which was attended by 30 students. The workshops were well received by all the delegates who had in-person hands on training by the specialists in the field. The session also had 2 sponsor talks by Mr Shankar Raman – Hoya and Ms Ananthalakshmi – Essilor.

This year we received over 160 abstracts from the optometry fraternity across the country. These abstracts were screened by 13 external evaluators across the globe. Based on their evaluation, a total of 13 original research by regulars and 8 original research by students were selected along with 10 case reports for oral presentation and 76 abstracts were selected for poster presentations. From the 76 posters, 25 were selected for rapid fire presentations. All the presentations were evaluated by 6 internal and 6 external evaluators from various institutions. At the End of Day 2, the awards for various categories were announced by Dr Anuradha Narayanan, Principal – ESO.

The travel grants sponsored by Essilor were given to 12 students attending the conference.

Achutha Institute of Optometry, Erode

  • Ren varughese mammen
  • Archana S

Dr Agarwala Institute of Optometry

  • Hariharan N
  • Abirami M
  • Hema Nivetha R

Lotus College of Optometry

  • Khan Nuzhat
  • Kareena Nagpal
  • Alfiya bhayani
  • Afsheen Rais

Manipal College of Health Professions

  • Nishitha G
  • Stelyna Joylin

SRM Institute of Science and Technology

  • Bhavani C

The winners for various categories are as mentioned below:

Best Case report: Ms Nisha Jha – ‘Just touch me and see – a case of congenital corneal anaesthesia’ – Sankara Nethralaya Kolkata

Best Poster – Student category: Ms Shobhana Parab – ‘Knowledge, Attitude and Practices among pest control workers’ – Lotus College of Optometry

Best Poster – Regular category: Mr Janakiraman P – ‘Assessing diurnal variation of ocular blood flow in normal and glaucoma suspects’ – Elite School of Optometry

Best Oral presentation – Student category: Ms Gayathri B – ‘Cost Analysis of an adult comprehensive eye examination program from Tamil Nadu’ – Elite School of Optometry

Best Oral presentation – Regular Category: Ms Mobashir Fatimah – Impact of Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments (DIMS) spectacle lenses on quality of life of children – Perspectives of children and their parents – Elite School of Optometry

The two-day Optometry fest was well received by all the delegates with their enthusiastic and dynamic participation.