Akbarsha MA, Pereira S, Gruber FP. A National Center for Animal Alternatives in India: The Mahatma Gandhi-Doerenkamp Center for Alternatives to the Use of Animals in Life Science Education (MGDC). ALTEX [CD-ROM]. 2010;27(Special Issue 1):53-58


The Mahatma Gandhi-Doerenkamp Center for Alternatives to the Use of Animals in Life Science Education (MGDC) has been established as a national centre for alternatives in India at Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, a renowned university under the University Grants Commission of the Government of India. The mandate of the centre is to introduce the Gandhian Philosophy of ‘Ahimsa’ or ‘non-violence’ into the teaching /research of life sciences. The centre was established with the generous financial support of the Doerenkamp-Zbinden Foundation, Switzerland, in conjunction with the establishment of the ‘Gandhi-Gruber-Doerenkamp Chair’ for Alternatives in Biomedical Science Education and in vitro Toxicology. The centre was established in the knowledge that promoting humane science is an imperative scientific, legal, psycho-social, ecological and economic need of the hour. The MGDC will strive to create a strong positive presence of alternatives to the use of animals, thereby promoting quality and excellence in life science education, research and testing by way of continuous training programmes, an alternatives knowledge bank, library and certificate / diploma / post-graduate diploma programmes in animal alternatives and in vitro toxicology testing. The MGDC will also bring together stakeholders in the 3Rs – academia, scientific community, industry, government and animal welfare personnel from national / international levels – to raise the awareness / facilitate the exchange of information / ideas on alternatives to translate the vision of 3Rs into policy and curricular changes in India as relevant to education and research. The MGDC will help by way of funding research and development of environmentally friendly pedagogical tools and in vitro alternative methods for life science teaching and research. The approach will be to encourage the use of e-tools, help establish virtual learning centres, and to establish an in-house state-of-the-art cell culture laboratory for training in non-animal methods of research and product testing. The centre will be essentially a service provider in respect to non-animal methods in learning, research and testing. It is a joint venture of the Doerenkamp Zbinden Foundation, Bharathidasan University and People for Animals (Chennai), India.

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Link to journal: ALTEX - Alternatives to Animal Experimentation