The 7th of June 2017 marked a giant stride for the art and science of optometry, the critical study of light and refraction and its impact on vision, as the Shanmugha Arts, Science, Technology and Research Academy, Thanjavur the premium arts and technology institution popularly known as SASTRA and the Elite School of Optometry (ESO) the academic arm of Sankara Nethralaya credited as the pioneer and exclusive research and study center for this niche field, entered into an important academic collaboration under which the two institutions would be offering the 4 year Bachelor in Optometry course and two year Master in Optometry courses jointly. The collaboration could be described as the culmination of an MoU between the institutions to exchange knowledge, further joint research, study and engage in other academic endeavors, entered back in year 2008. As both the academic partners were keen on offering the optometry courses as a joint program, the proposal was taken as the 9th agenda point at the Academic Council Meeting held at the SASTRA University campus at Thanjavur on the date mentioned above and was approved unanimously by the ACM committee to go ahead with the programmes from this academic year.
Dr. Meenakshi S, Director,Academics, Dr. Krishna Kumar R, Principal, ESO and Ms. Anuradha, Lecturer, ESO, represented Sankara Nethralaya at the meeting under the guidance of Dr. S.S.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya, Mr V. Vaidyanathan, Board member, ESO, Dr. K.S. Vasan, MD, Dr. G.S.Rao, Medical Director and Ms.Akila Ganesan, Director Administration, Sankara Nethralaya. As per the understanding finalized between the two institutions, students pursuing their undergraduate program would spend the first two years of their program at SASTRA and the remaining 2 years at the Elite School of Optometry.
The collaboration marks the coming together of two institutions with a common passion for excellence in academics, adherence to stringent quality parameters, constant innovation, research and high ethical standards and would facilitate a synergy of their areas of strength and expertise which would translate into a greater learning experience and exposure for the students and a deeper study of the science of Optometry. The collaboration promises to fulfill the dream of Dr. S.S.Badrinath to take Optometry to its next level in the country by enhancing its scope and impact which would enable technology driven health care, accessible and affordable to the common man.