New Delhi: Union Minister Shashi Tharoor has been named `Person of the Year` by animal rights body PETA- India for taking steps to advance animal protection.
Tharoor encouraged the director of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to examine PETA`s Central Board of Secondary Education approved programme for incorporation into its textbooks, the animal rights body said on Friday.
"We are thankful to Minister Tharoor for his work and for recognising that animals deserve kindness and consideration", PETA India CEO Poorva Joshipura said in a statement today.
Tharoor, the Minister of State for Human Resource Development, had written a letter to Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad urging him to implement non-animal methods of teaching in medical courses.
In 2012, the Ministry of Environment and Forests issued a directive instructing all the institutes or establishments associated with teaching of medical, pharmacy and other courses in life sciences to follow UGC guidelines for discontinuation of dissection and animal experimentation in universities and colleges and introduce use of alternatives to animal experimentation.
Despite this, some universities and colleges still allow professors to use rabbits, rats, guinea pigs and other animals in cruel classroom experiments to train students.
Tharoor urged the National Council for Teacher Education to ban the use of animals, such as for dissection, in training teachers.
"The use of animal dissection in teaching at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels is completely avoidable, and the University Grants Commission has already taken up the matter with universities that are teaching life sciences," Tharoor said.
Past recipients of the award were Bollywood personalities Hema Malini and R Madhavan.