The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF), Government of India, has recently issued a ban on use of live animals in educational and research institutions. The guidelines have opened up new opportunities for educational application providers, to replace live experiments with simulation based apps.
The ministry has issued guidelines to the Ministry of health and family welfare, University Grants Commission, Medical Council of India, and Pharmacy Council of India to stop dissection and experiments with live animals — and replace them with digital alternatives.
The guidelines — which will not be applicable on scientists conducting new molecular research — will impact research institutes, hospitals, laboratories and other educational institutions. These guidelines have been framed based on the duties of the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments and Animals (CPCSEA), under Section 15 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960).
As the ministry has further advocated the use of digital resources, the demand for other alternatives is expected to increase rapidly. Apps, such as the ‘Virtual Frog Dissection Educational App’ from Fremont, California based Emantras mLab, will see many more buyers in coming future. The app costs between US$3–US$5, and is available for all platforms. It has also received award from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which further increases its credibility.
The demand will come not only for apps, but for simpler and cheaper products such as compact disks educational videos, and tutorials — which can be subscribed for, or watched free of cost on YouTube. If the trend continues, then we may also see similar guidelines on hazardous chemicals, or other experiments that impact the environment — which in turn will further accelerate the demand for simulation based educational apps.