Include yoga in NET from this academic year, says panel

A committee on Yoga Education in Universities has recommended including yoga in the national eligibility test (NET) from this academic year to make it a more attractive career option for prospective teachers. The panel - headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modis yoga guru HR Nagendra -also pitched for enrolling experts from institutes such as Baba Ramdevs Patanjali Yogpeeth as guest lecturers at various universities, and paying them in accordance with the salary norms of the University Grants Commission (UGC). While yoga is currently taught at 52 institutions across the country, about 16 offer an MA degree in the discipline. The human resources development (HRD) ministry and the UGC will now review the recommendations of the panel, which also drew the course outline for NET. We have completed (making a course outline of) the syllabus that will be taught at the universities, and the syllabus that will be used for NET,Nagendra told HT. The HRD ministry had set up the yoga committee in January, following a consultative meeting chaired by Union minister Smriti Irani. The committee has suggested that six courses at various levels  including certificate, diploma, degree, post-graduate degree/diploma and research -be launched at all central universities. Noting that varsities currently slot yoga under various disciplines such as sports, philosophy and education, it also recommended that a separate faculty -called yogic art and science - be created for it. There are a number of yoga paramparas (traditions) that are followed across the country. Our task was to put in place a syllabus that will be accepted by all universities and bring in greater uniformity in this regard. We recommend that it be taught at all universities. Also, we have prepared the syllabus for all the six courses that will be offered, committee member Pundit Radheshyam Mishra, also the director of the Ujjain Yoga Life Society International, told HT. He said that a report has been submitted to the UGC, and it will be given a final shape soon. While Mishra was tasked with preparing the syllabus for the certificate and diploma courses,Patanjali Yogpeeth prepared the syllabus for the masters degree in yoga. Since setting up a full-fledged faculty will take time,the committee has suggested the names of several yoga experts who can teach at the universities in the beginning,Mishra said, adding that a sub-committee will also be formed to prepare texts on yoga that can be published by the UGC and passed on to all central universities. The yoga committee member said that including yoga in NET will go a long way in promoting the discipline as a career option. Post-graduates in yoga have been unable to get teaching jobs because there was no NET conducted for yoga. We have recommended that it be included as a subject from this academic year itself, Mishra said.

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