In response to the growing demand for a separate course on cooking vegetarian food, the Tourism Ministry has decided to introduce a degree course with specialisation in vegetarian cuisine in three government-run hotel management institutes from this session.
The three-year Bachelor of Science degree in hospitality and hotel administration with specialisation in vegetarian cuisine would be introduced in the Institutes of Hotel Management - Gandhinagar, Jaipur and Bhopal - on pilot basis from this academic session, an official said.
The course will be extended to other hotel management institutes from next academic session, he said, adding that some financial aid may also be provided to these institutes for creating the necessary facilities.
Currently, students follow a common curriculum which includes preparation of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine.
Hotel owners associations, including the Hotel Association of India (HAI), have been requesting the government to consider conducting various courses of cooking in vegetarian food only.
“The Ministry of Tourism has received some requests from Hotel associations including the HAI for considering degree/diploma courses in vegetarian/vegan cooking,” Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma had said earlier.
HAI has membership of about 300 hotels across the country.
An online petition, which has drawn over 3,900 signatures, argues that “students coming from vegetarian families, who are inclined towards this esteemed course are denied admission by their parents due to family values.”
“If separate degree or option is created, the students who are joining the present mixed (Veg and Non-veg) courses shall be indirectly prevented from eating or becoming non-vegetarian as against the wishes of their own, families and religion.
It “strongly suggested” that there should be a separate degree course for vegetarians in hotel management studies.
However, some stakeholders have reservations that such degree would curb the employability of the students as most of the five-star hotels offers mixed cuisines.
Currently there are 21 Central Institutes of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition, 21 State Institutes of Hotel Management and 10 Food Craft Institutes in the country.