Friday, May 20, 2016

UGC tells varsities to hold yoga fests before D-day on June 21

The Modi government is pulling out all stops to make the second International Yoga Day (June 21) a success following last year's positive response. In a fresh letter issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC), universities across the country have been asked to hold a two-three day Yoga Fest before the D-day so that students are sensitized about the benefits of yoga and improve participation.

The circular was issued by UGC secretary Jaspal S Sandhu on Thursday evening. While vice-chancellors have been asked to personally oversee all activities held in universities and affiliated colleges, many also rued the fact that additional activities before the event would only hamper classes.

"UGC has been sending such circulars directing us to hold activities prior to the event. But should we engage students in these activities or in studies? The International Yoga Day will be celebrated with fanfare and we do not see the need of holding of additional programmes prior to it," said a university professor, who wished not to be named. The circular mentions that the VCs should personally supervise all events related to the June 21 episode in universities and affiliated colleges.

The vice-chancellors have been asked to train students, if needed, in the Common Yoga Protocol (CYP), instructions for which are available in the ministry of AYUSH website. A few other activities including cultural programmes informing the youth about career prospects in yoga and lectures on topics such as 'Yoga for lifestyle modifications' and 'Yoga and detoxification' have also been suggested by the UGC.

The circular mentions that this new directive is in continuation of an earlier letter dated February 29 regarding observance of the D-day. It also stated that during a review meeting discussing the next Yoga day, prime minister Narendra Modi emphasized yoga's potential to effectively channelize youthful energy in nation building.

The International Yoga Day was formally proposed by the PM in his maiden address to the 69 th UN General Assembly on September 27, 2015. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in 2014 to observe International Yoga Day on June 21 every year.

In the earlier letter sent out in February, UGC had asked varsities that on June 21, Yoga Practitioners may give a demonstration to the faculty and students, competition should be held amongst the students on practices of Yoga and the best participants should be duly awarded, films on Yoga to be screened and posters put up exhibiting Yoga postures to bring awareness among the students and faculty besides an online essay competition and promotional literature on Yoga and benefits of Yoga to be distributed amongst the student population and faculty.

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