Reply to an RTI query has revealed that the Medical Council of India (MCI) is ignorant of the fact whether or not its directives are being implemented.
In 2012, the MCI had decided to allot nearly 4% of the total teaching hours in the first two years of MBBS to sports and extracurricular activities, including yoga.
Under the new regulations, 78 of the total 1,880 academic hours in the first two years had to be allotted to sports, extracurricular activities and yoga.
Professionally qualified yoga teachers and trainers were upbeat as they thought they could get a job in medical colleges of the state but the plan did not take shape because medical colleges in the state did not follow the regulations.
The MCI, in a written reply to an RTI query, has admitted that it does not know how many medical colleges follow MCI directives.
Deputy secretary and PIO, MCI Dr Reena Nayyar has replied to the query of yoga teacher Amit Khanna, a resident of Indira Nagar Lucknow, saying that PIO, Uttar Pradesh State Medical Faculty, through a letter dated July 17, specifically said that he had no information about yoga activities in medical colleges of the state.
Amit Khanna said, “I wanted to know in which medical colleges of the state yoga activities were underway as per the guidelines of the MCI. If the activities were not going on, then what steps was the MCI taking to start yoga in medical colleges of the state? I was surprised to know that the MCI was not serious about implementation of its own directives. It did not even know what steps it was going to take to start yoga in medical colleges.”
A senior member of MCI said on condition of anonymity, “Physical education was never a priority for medical students The new regulation was framed to keep medicos fit through yoga and sports, but most of the medical colleges have not been able to implement it, perhaps due to pressure of studies.”
An official of the KGMU said, “The medical coll e ge has vast g rounds but no sports or yoga activ-ity takes place because students are already overburdened with studies. But if professionals are appointed for yoga or sports, things might change, as they can help medicos stay fit.”