India is a country with a good number of vegetarians living here. Seeing the vast vegetarian population of India and the growing demand for vegetarian courses in hotel management, the tourism industry is to launch a degree course for students aspiring to do a specialization course in Vegetarian Cuisine in 3 government funded Hotel Management Institutes from the session 2016.
Institutes of Hotel Management at Jaipur, Bhopal and Gandhinagar, are the 3 government institutes that will offer a BSc. Degree in Hospitality and Hotel Administration with specialization in Vegetarian Cuisine course. This is going to be a 3 year course.
Other hotel management institutes will also be offering similar courses to aspiring students from the academic session 2017. The institutes will be provided with financial aid to set up the required infrastructure for introducing this course. Secretary Vinod Chaturvedi said that this course will be started on pilot basis. Institutes will also be given aid to have a separate vegetarian kitchen for the same.
Prior to this step taken by the Tourism Ministry, students were studying a common course where they were asked to learn and cook both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian cuisines.
The Indian Heritage Hotel Association IHHA along with different hotel representatives had sent suggestions to start separate vegetarian degree program in hotel management institutes. They had sent this suggestion to the Tourism Ministry Indian Government Secretary Vinod Jutshi.
Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma said, “The Ministry of Tourism has received some requests from Hotel associations including the HAI for considering degree/diploma courses in vegetarian/vegan cooking,”
CA Chandra Shekhar R Lunia from Pune has been working to bring this issue into notice since the last 4 years. Students belonging to the vegetarian background are either denied to study the course that asks them to learn and prepare non-vegetarian cuisines or, they have to keep their religious principles aside and cook non-vegetarian stuff. In order to provide flexibility to such students, there was need of introducing a specialized course for vegetarians who aspire to build a career in the hotel management industry.
CA Chandra Shekhar Lunia created a page and a signature campaign with the name of ‘Degree for Vegetarian in Hotel Management course’. About 4000 people signed the petition online and have joined Lunia’s campaign. He says, “My son wanted to drop CA and enroll into hotel management course. But we couldn’t find a single institute in the country as well as in the world that would offer vegetarian course. It was then that I decided to do something about this matter and wrote letters regarding the same to a number of ministers and even to members of the Parliament.”
At present students of Hotel Management Institutes follow a common curriculum where they are required to learn and prepare both vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine. Some stakeholders think that introduction of a vegetarian course will limit opportunities for the students and lessen the chances of them getting placed in good hotels and restaurants since most hotels offer mixed cuisines.
But then, the country has many hotels that provide food prepared by veg or non-veg chef on demand of their guests. Many have separate kitchen area for the two purposes. Moreover, there are many upcoming hotels, which will have strictly only vegetarian restaurants.