“Patanjali Yoga has emerged as the biggest healer for different health ailments in the 21st century”, said the Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, addressing a gathering of around 5000 yoga practitioners at Rohtak . Further, he noted that Yoga reflects a perfect harmony between the mind and the body, Man and Nature and it brings about a union between individual and universal consciousness.
Participating in the second “International Day of Yoga”, Dr. Harsh Vardhan congratulated the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi for taking this ancient Indian art to the global arena. The Minister recalled the beginning of this drive with the historic address of our Prime Minister at the UN General Assembly in September, 2014, after which Yoga captured the imagination of people across national boundaries.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, during his address, noted that Yoga requires commitment and determination in order to achieve a balanced lifestyle and good health. Hence, he appealed to the people at large that it needs to be integrated into one’s daily lives and should not be done only as a ritual on the International Yoga Day. Further, he noted that Yoga is the only art that not only strengthens the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of an individual but also builds social cohesiveness on a larger scale.
The Minister also mentioned about the initiatives undertaken by his Ministry for the popularization of Yoga. The Science and Technology of Yoga and Meditation (SATYAM) programme was conceived and initiated under the Department of Science & Technology (DST) in 2015-2016. It aims to foster scientific research on the effects of Yoga and Meditation on physical and mental health, besides on cognitive functioning, in not only healthy people but also patients with disorders.
Against the first call for proposals under the SATYAM programme, the DST received 578 research proposals from across the country, out of which 96 were ‘screened’ in and Principal Investigators of these proposals were called in for presentations before a Task Force constituted by the DST for this purpose. Finally, 26 Projects have been recommended for financial support under SATYAM by the Task Force during 2016-17, the Minister noted.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan also reminisced the success with which Yoga was compulsorily adopted in all the schools during his tenure as the Education Minister in Delhi nearly two decades back. He felt pride in recalling the kind of discipline Yoga had brought in the lives of students back then.
Under the leadership of Dr. Harsh Vardhan, activities like meditation and asana practice sessions were organized at various National level institutions and laboratories under the Ministries of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences across the country in order to celebrate the International Day of Yoga