Yoga is set to leave it’s ‘just another vocational programme’ billing, courtesy a new curriculum issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The new curriculum was drafted by a committee by the Ministry of HRD, which had HR Nagendra, chancellor, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Bengaluru (S-VYASA) at the helm. It has a lot in store for both - the students as well as the teachers. While the students have courses on offer, the teachers have certification programmes. "We have been working on designing the curriculum for the last two years. Academicians including vice chancellors, yoga practitioners from educational institutions have crafted curriculum, which was submitted to MHRD," said Nagendra.
As many as five courses have been approved of, by the UGC. These are - BSc, MSc, PhD and PG diploma in yoga and PG Diploma in Yoga Therapy. Apart from that, a total of six universities have been picked to initiate the course, and set up a separate Yoga department, as per the government mandate. These six chosen universities are Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, Uttrakhand, Visva Bharti Shantiniketan, West Bengal, Central University of Rajasthan, Central University of Kerala, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, Madhya Pradesh and Manipur University.
Apart from that, there will be available special certificate courses to provide training to the teachers. "Those who do not have formal training in yoga will have to apply for certification provided by Ministry of AYUSH. The teachers will have to pass an exam that will test their theoretical and practical knowledge along with teaching abilities," added Nagendra. Subramaniya Pairoo, HOD, academic coordinator, department of Yoga, Central University of Kerala said, "We started the department in February this year with PG diploma in yoga after receiving a grant worth Rs 10 crore from the MHRD.
He added that the MSc would be started from this academic year only, and the plan is to start the PhD course from next year onward. The seats for the MSc and PG diploma courses have filled up to the brim. "After completing PG diploma courses, students can work as a trainer in schools, while after MSc they have options to work in hospitals, therapy centers etc. There is also a huge demand of Yoga trainers and therapists abroad," he concluded.