An optometrist is a physician that checks refraction of the eye and corrects them by prescribing lenses or spectacles. Optometry courses gives detailed knowledge about how to diagnose and prescribe refractive errors. The curriculum also inculcates information on how to provide vision therapy and care for minor eye diseases.
In India, the lack of colleges that offer optometry courses has vastly effected the number of trained optometrists as required by the country. While the country possesses 9,000 optometrists with 4 year training and only 40,000 more of them have been trained for a period of 2 years, this is in vast contrast to the number required by the nation. As of 2010, India had a requirement of 115,000 optometrists and in the growing years the differential number has increased. Thus, there was a need to establish colleges which provide technical knowledge about optometry courses as well as gives students a chance to learn on the job while pursuing internship for the period of 1 year.
ITM, a well known institute recognized the shortage of specialised training for optometry. Therefore, they included optometry courses as part of their specialised programs under health sciences. The eligibility criteria for this course is an aggregate of 40% in science stream for general category and 35% for SC/ST/OBC/minority. The eligibility criteria differs from institute to institute therefore you must go through the college website or brochure before enrolling in the course.
The duration of the optometry courses are usually 3+1 years and is opted by students after completing 10+2 in a science stream with subjects such as Chemistry, Biology, Physics and English.
The admission of a candidate is usually based on the marks acquired by him/her in board examination or by appearing in a central exam for medicine. Some reputed colleges that offer optometry courses may hold private entrance tests in order to select candidates.
The students are also required to pursue an year long internship so that they get on the job training from an expert of the field. They can directly address their queries and learn about various equipments and changing techniques from a certified professional.