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Movement to Curtail Animal Dissections in Zoology Curriculum: review of the Indian Experience
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Mohammad Abdulkader Akbarsha
School of Life Sciences, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, India
Animal dissections have been dropped from the curriculum in several developed countries, and virtual laboratories are taking their place, or at least the concept of the “three R’s” is becoming accepted. Yet, the scenario in the developing countries in this regard has been dismal. However, recently, a movement has started in India in this area, thanks to the aggressive approach of PfA, I-CARE and InterNICHE, supported by a few zoology educators and policy makers, who joined this movement as freelancers. The aggressive campaigners against animal dissections put up convincing arguments to the orthodox zoology educators and higher education planners with such veracity that the arguments cannot be ignored. The arguments, to be presented in detail at the conference, and the campaign have been rewarded with success such that a few universities and autonomous colleges have revamped their zoology curricula so as to dispense with or reduce animal dissections. The Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India, has been the trendsetter, evolving what is known as the “Bharathidasan University Model”. A memorandum from I-CARE and PfA to the University Grants Commission, Government of India, New Delhi, was sent out by the UGC to the universities with a request to consider the points positively. However, there is still a need to bring about an attitudinal change in the zoology educators and higher education planners such that they participate willingly in this endeavour. The role-players at all levels are identified and approached with a language that is understandable to each and are adequately supported by hands-on training in the alternative methods. Ultimately, the responsibility in this regard lies with the educators themselves, since they are the ones who, working in the academic committees that design the curricula, can cut down on the requirement for dissections.
ALTEX 24(3), 163-166