Six central universities will start new or revamped yoga departments from the upcoming academic year and the number would be raised to 20 within a year.
HRD minister Smriti Irani declared this at a ‘National Seminar on Yoga’ where she also called upon heads of technological institutions to help in providing empirical evidence on the benefits of yoga.
“A decision has been taken that from the year 2016-17, new or revamped yoga departments would be opened,” she said, adding that “in a year’s time this number would be raised to twenty.”
Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University in Uttarakhand, Visva Bharati in Shantiniketan, Central University of Kerala, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in Amarkantak, Manipur University in Imphal and the Central University of Rajasthan would begin these departments from the next session.
The action is in line with recommendations of a panel headed by headed by HR Nagendra, also regarded as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s yoga guru, that had suggested various kind of courses ranging from certificate courses to Bachelor’s, Masters and PhDs for yogic sciences. Nagendra was also present at the seminar.
In her speech, Irani said that modern science depends on empirical evidence and asked heads of technological institutions to provide research to back the claims related to the benefits of yoga.
“Today I call upon all those professors researchers and academicians who can help us quantify empirical evidence with regard to the benefits of yoga and yogic sciences,” Irani said adding that this would provide a boost to this area.
She referred to a paper brought out at IIT Kharagpur on the resonance of the word ‘Om’ through yogic science and its scientific value.
In her speech, the minister also said that the University Grants Commission (UGC) is considering including NET exam for yogic sciences to address the issue of finding teachers for this subject.
At the event, secretary, higher education in the human resource development ministry VS Oberoi said that three-day yoga festivals will be held in several institutes and Universities across the country on the occassion of International Day of Yoga.