After several rejections and objections raised by a section of students and teachers, JNU’s proposal to introduce short-term course in yoga has finally been approved by the varsity’s top decision making body. “A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the Academic Council on Thursday. It will be an excellent idea to celebrate Yoga Day (on June 21) by approving the much-debated course,” a senior university official said.
The proposal to introduce three short-term courses in Indian culture and yoga was first floated in 2015 against the backdrop of right wing organisations such as the RSS insisting on propagation of culture on educational campuses to promote India’s rich heritage and restore its cultural identity. Following various communications from the HRD ministry and the University Grants Commission (UGC), JNU had then circulated a draft of three courses among its various schools and departments for their feedback.
The proposal was rejected by the Academic Council (AC), the university’s statutory decision making body, in November, 2015. However, the varsity had in May last year decided to reconsider it and the departments were asked to rework on the proposed course structure and place it before the council. The proposal was again rejected in the Academic Council meeting in October last year. While the course in Yoga Philosophy has been approved, there is no word yet on the two courses proposed on Indian culture.
According to the proposed draft, the course on Indian culture is aimed at expounding the importance of the country’s culture as well as exploring the etymological, social, spiritual, cultural and mythological aspects and establishing Indian values in the world.