Maharashtra’s Yerwada Central Jail will release prisoners early if they get top marks in an exam on yoga, a prison official said on Wednesday.
The convicts can cut their sentences by up to three months if they impress wardens at the end of a course on yoga, the prison chief responsible for the programme told AFP.
“There’s a written and physical exam and those who excel will be given remission with respect to their performance,” Bhushankumar Upadhyay, additional director general of the Maharashtra prison department said.
“We have started the written tests and the practical examination will commence in January. We are going to hold two exams a year,” he added.
Upadhyay said the programme was aimed at improving their mental and physical wellbeing.
Prisoners have to answer questions such as “What is Yoga?” and “How does it help you?” as well as perform a series of complex yoga asanas.
“Yoga has been found to be very positive in harmonising our mental and physical energy. It has played a great role in the formation of the soul,” added Upadhyay, giving away one of the answers.
The initiative at the prison in Pune is the latest in a long line of yoga programmes to have started since Narendra Modi was elected Prime Minister in May last year.
Yerwada jail has a history of innovative programmes, which include one on Gandhian principles started in 2002 and another on promoting medicinal plants held in 2007.