Six universities to start Yoga departments in line with recommendations made by Modi’s guru, says Smriti Irani

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Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani has announced
six central universities will launch new or revamped Yoga departments from the next academic year and the number would be raised to 20 within a year.

Irani, according to a report by PTI, 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.

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“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,” Irani was quoted as saying.

Universities that will launch Yoga departments from next academic season are 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.

The action, according to officials, are in line with recommendations of a panel 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.

Irani said that modern science depended 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,” Ms 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, Irani also said that the 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 HRD Ministry VS Oberoi said that three-day Yoga festivals will be held in several institutes and Universities across the country on the occasion of International Day of Yoga

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