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Yoga activities kept AYUSH ministry busy in 2015


New Delhi : The newly-formed AYUSH Ministry hogged limelight in 2015 as it successfully organised the first-ever International Day of Yoga during which two Guinness world records were achieved.

The Department of AYUSH which was earlier under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was upgraded to a full- fledged ministry on November 9, 2014 with an aim to step up education and research in Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy and expanding the reach of these medical systems in public. The Ministry, headed by Shripad Naik, kept itself busy in 2015 with the International Day of Yoga on June 21.

Massive celebrations were witnessed at Rajpath where Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself performed yoga in the presence of thousands of people including ministers, bureaucrats, foreign delegates, school children, NCC cadets and host of others.

Two Guinness World Records were achieved, the largest yoga lesson involving 35,985 participants and maximum number of nationalities (84) participating in a single yoga lesson.

Outside India, the first IDY was celebrated in all countries except war-torn Yemen with the events organised by the Ministry of External Affairs in association with Ministry of AYUSH and various yoga organisations.

Simultaneously, a two-day international conference on ‘Yoga for Holistic Health’ was also organised which witnessed the participation of around 1300 delegates from India and other countries.

Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy (CCRYN) extended financial assistance of Rs one lakh each to government organisations as well as NGOs in all the districts to conduct one-month yoga camp and IDY celebrations.

Apart from this, the Ministry of Culture has filed nomination to inscribe Yoga as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity under UNESCO.

For global promotion and popularisation of AYUSH systems of medicine and yoga, several steps were also taken by the Ministry.

The AYUSH Ministry also signed memorandum of Understandings with a host of countries for promotion of AYUSH systems.

In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Naik recently said that “to train a large number of youth and popularise it in various countries, Yoga is an integral part of CBSE’s physical education and sports activities”.

The response from the government came even as the Supreme Court had said that people “cannot be forced to do Yoga”. The petitioner had sought a direction from the apex court for the introduction of yoga as a compulsory subject in schools.

Talking about the efforts to promote yoga, Naik said that that it “is being taught…under Physical Education Curriculum at senior secondary level among its (CBSE’s) nearly 17,000 affiliated schools spread across India and in nearly 27 countries”.

To promote Yoga among the youth and bring talent to the fore, the CBSE board has included Yoga as one of the 24 disciplines for competition at the national level.

The Ministry claimed that its National AYUSH Mission (NAM) is a “turning point” as it aims for better access to AYUSH services by increasing the number of AYUSH Hospitals and dispensaries, mainstreaming of AYUSH through co-location of AYUSH facilities at Primary Health Centres (PHCs), Community Health Centres (CHCs) and District Hospitals (DHs) and ensuring availability of AYUSH drugs and trained manpower.

Since the formation of the Ministry, Rs 183.77 crore have been released to 25 states and UTs against their submitted State Annual Action Plan (SAAP) under NAM for 2014-15.

To further expand NAM to more states and UTs during 2015-16, State Annual Action Plans (SAAPs) from 33 states and UTs has been approved by the Mission Directorate and Rs 165.27 crore have been released to 18 states up to November 2015.

The ministry also produced and telecast 10 episodes of an interactive TV Programme “Ayushman Bharat” through Doordarshan in Hindi and its 9 regional kendras in regional languages from April to June, 2015.

The Ministry said that as against 334 Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani (ASU) colleges in 2014-15, there are 352 ASU colleges as on November 2015 while against 191 homoeopathic colleges in 2014-15, there are 197 such colleges till November, 2015.

The Ministry also notified Indian Medicine Central Council, Post-graduate Diploma Course in Siddha and Post-graduate Diploma Course in Unani Medicine besides notifying the Homeopathy (Degree Course) Amendment Regulations, 2015.

The government in 2015 has also approved setting up of All India Institute Ayurveda at Sarita Vihar in New Delhi to conduct post-graduate and PhD courses in Ayurveda and North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda and Homeopathy at Shillong in Meghalaya to conduct under-graduate, post-graduate, doctoral and post-doctoral courses both in Ayurveda and Homoeopathy.

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