Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) which was established initially as a Single mode Distance Teaching Institution (DTI) in the year 1985 opened its campus to face-to-face education in the year 2008 and thus now is a Dual mode Distance Teaching Institution (DTI). The Post Graduate Programme (Master of Science) in Dietetics and Food Service Management (MScDFSM) Programme of IGNOU offered through the Distance Learning Mode from the year 2005 has been the boon in developing human resources involved in Nutrition and Dietetics services and also serves as a mode for continuing education among the professionals on-the-job. Accessibility to the programme is independent of the qualification earned at the Bachelor’s level as at IGNOU flexibility of the qualification is ensured for fulfilling the eligibility criteria into the MScDFSM Programme so that the diverse needs of the aspirants are accommodated at entry level itself. The Programme is unique in that it has compulsory Dissertation and Internship besides the Theory and Practical Courses. The Self-Study is enriched by the Teacher inbuilt Self-instructional Study Materials coupled with compulsory submission of the Tutor Marked Assignments (TMA) which phase learning and initiate the didactic communication between the Academic Counsellor (who facilitate the Academic Transactions at the field level functionary - the Learner Support Centre) and the Learner. The MSc DFSM Programme of IGNOU, as the distance learning programme offered by the School of Continuing Education (SOCE) of IGNOU in the Indian Sub-Continent only. This paper discusses how the MScDFSM Programme of IGNOU is contributing to the staff development of in-service Nutritionists and Dietitians through the distance education/learning mode in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh, North India) Regional Centre. This paper also highlights the Institutions, which served as the Learner Support Centres from the year 2005 (when the programme was launched) till 2011 in the jurisdiction of the Lucknow Regional Centre (Uttar Pradesh, North India). In addition, this paper elucidates the selected parameters that comprise the profile of the learners, who had enrolled in to the MScDFSM Programme of IGNOU from the year 2005 to 2011, January and July Sessions amounting to Ten Enrolment Cohorts, by using the complete enumeration methods (N=329) at the time of access into the Programme of study. In a nutshell, this paper gives a brief about the MScDFSM Programme of IGNOU, the profile of the learners enrolled in Lucknow Regional Centre (Uttar Pradesh, North India), and, the implications of the Programme towards the staff development of Nutritionist and the Dietitian at Post Graduate level through the distance education/learning mode, which is sure to have an impact in equalising Nutrition/Dietetics education opportunities through the gross access via the distance learning mode.
Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Dietetics and Food Service Management (MScDFSM) Programme, Nutritionists and Dietitians programme.