Starting next academic session, students from classes 4-10 across the country will study "health" as a part of their school curriculum.
"The course will be introduced by the next academic year. The National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, which is preparing the course framework, will take 4-6 months to complete it," said Dr Jagdish Prasad, Director General Health Services, Ministry of Health.
"It's being done in consultation with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) and it has agreed to introduce the course," he added.
The idea behind is to help protect children against infectious and non-infectious diseases. "Children should learn health basics, such as the harmful effects of smoking and drinking or the amount of calories they should eat at school," said Dr Prasad on the eve of CII's two-day summit on "Non Communicable Diseases - Strengthening for Diabetes Care" held in New Delhi.
Meanwhile, school principals seem to have welcomed the move. "It's a good idea. Health is wealth. It should definitely be a part of the school curriculum," said Usha Ram, principal, Laxman Public School.
"No announcement has been made yet. It sounds good in theory but the syllabus should be carefully framed and school principals involved in its drafting," said Suman Kumar, principal, Blue Bells International.