In all government and government-aided schools, the NCERT is all set to organize Yoga Olympiad from 18 to 20 June throughout the country. After the successful science and mathematics Olympiad, the NCERT has decided to conduct Yoga Olympiad in the nation as well. The Olympiad will be concluded on 21 June 2016 when the entire world will celebrate International Yoga Day. The participants in the Olympiad will be awarded by the HRD Minister Smriti Irani in an award ceremony.
The participants will be tested on the basis of five yogic practices named, Asanas, Pranayam, Kriya (Cleansing Process), Buddha and Surya Namaskar. However, there was rising criticism against Surya Namaskar in various sections across the country and thus NCERT has made it optional. The name of the Olympiad has been decided as ‘Yoga for Health and Harmony’. For upper primary and secondary students from different block, district, state and national level, there will be different syllabus for the candidates.
According to a senior NCERT official, “The Olympiad will help to develop an understanding of yogic practices, their application in one’s life and living which, in turn, will develop physical, emotional and mental development of children. It will also help in the development of healthy habits and human values in children.” The Olympiad would be held in stages and selection of the candidates would be made in accordance with their performance in each of the rounds. The individual candidates or schools could send their entries at block level, winners of which would qualify for district level. Winners from the state level would qualify for the national level for which 16 children, off which there would be four boys and four girls at upper primary level and equal number at the secondary level, would get selected to compete on 21 June, 2016 in Delhi.
The children participating in the Olympiad will be assessed on the basis of their practical yoga performances in various yogic activities. At each stage there would be a team of three judges having expertise in Asanas, Pranayam, Kriya, Bandh. The jury members would be from various institutes, schools and yoga institutes across the country. There would be 100 marks (60 for Asanas, 20 for Pranayam and 20 for Kriya) for the upper primary level and at the secondary stage, participants would be evaluated in Asanas (60 marks), Pranayam (20), Kriya (10) and Bandha (10). The participants would be judged on the practical performances of the total of six Asanas from the long list of NCERT. Four of the yogic Asanas would be necessary for the candidates to perform while the other two would be optional for them to choose from.