Against the backdrop of incidents of violence and sexual assaults on girls, the Human Resource Development ministry has directed state governments to include training in self-defence as part of physical education for upper primary classes.
Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor said in Rajya Sabha that in January his ministry wrote to education secretaries of states suggesting inclusion of "training in self-defence" in physical education classes for girl students.
Describing reports of violence against students on campus as troubling, he said the University Grants Commission has set up a task force to look into measures to provide safety to women.
UGC has been asked to suggest specific interventions on the issue, he said, adding UGC has been writing to universities and colleges with regard to laying emphasis on gender sensitisation and gender studies.
Pursuant to the Delhi gang-rape, UGC has stressed the need for incorporation of gender concerns in all courses.
"In addition, in order to promote women's studies, UGC through a special scheme, has created 158 Women's Study Centres in the country of which 82 are in universities and 76 in colleges," Tharoor said during Question Hour.
Besides, gender sensitisation course is being introduced in CBSE-affiliated schools, he said.
Gender concerns have been integrated in the curriculum and in the textbooks drawn up by the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT), he said.
"The CBSE has decided to offer an elective course on Human Rights and Gender Studies for classes XI and XII from 2013-14 session."