HC asks Centre, Delhi govt for a response on 'Health and Yoga Science' being mandatory upto class 8

ANIUpdated: Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 03:58 PM IST
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School children practicisng yoga | PTI

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought a response from the Central Government, Delhi Government, and NCPCR NCERT on a PIL seeking direction to make "Health and Yoga Science" a mandatory part of the curriculum for up to 8th Standard to ensure the overall development of children so as to enhance their knowledge, potential and talent, and development of their physical and mental abilities to the full extent, as in the spirit of Section 29 of the Right To Education (RTE) Act 2009.

While seeking a response, The Division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Sachin Dutta, said, "we can't involve ourselves in the policy." The bench also asked the Centre to "do it on your own if you think it is important. Why wait for our orders?," and adjourned the matter to November 15, 2022. The Petitioner Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who is a lawyer and a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader had submitted that "the Right to Health (Article 21) and the Right to Education (Article 21A) are complementary and supplementary to each other. Therefore, it is the duty of the State to make 'Health and Yoga Science' a mandatory part of the curriculum up to the 8th Standard in the spirit of Section 29 of the RTE Act read with Articles 21, 21A, 39, 47."

The petitioner also stated in the PIL that "Yoga is a scientific and universal method, a tradition and culture of self-discipline, self-realisation and self-revelation. It is not a ritualistic procedure or a sectarian bunch of knowledge; rather a medical science and life science. Besides being an excellent medical system, Yoga is a lifestyle for the integrated development of life."

"After enactment of the RTE Act, the study of Health and Yoga Science has become a right of the children within the age group 6-14 years. But it has remained name-sake on the papers and is the most neglected subject," the petition Upadhyay said further.

Upadhyay also alleged that the marks are not awarded for Health and Yoga Science during the annual exam and even the teachers of Kendriya Vidyalaya and Navodaya Schools say that Health and Yoga Science is not a compulsory subject.

He submitted that NCERT has not published the standard textbooks for 'Health and Yoga Science' for the students of Classes I-VIII, yet. Therefore, without syllabus and standard textbooks, and without trained teachers and evaluation of marks, there remains a total failure in imparting the Health and Yoga education to them (children), in view of the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005.

Yoga helps to cure psychosomatic diseases, improve comprehension ability, power of memory and concentration, and relax stress, tension, and anxiety.

National Focus Group (NFG) has thrown special light on these points in their Position Paper on Health and Physical Education.

"Realising the need and utility of yoga education, NCERT should provide standard textbooks for the students of Classes I to XII. The objective of yoga education should be to impart practical-theoretical instructions and training on Yoga at primary levels in such a way that it may be linked to health and physical education, awareness of diseases, and value-based education and students may develop a complete understanding of these things," stated the plea.

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