With International Yoga Day nearing, an entirely different debate has fueled in the University of Delhi regarding whether to include yoga as a sport under the Sports quota.
11 DU Colleges have reserved seats for Yoga under their sports quota, despite the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports(MYAS) deciding not to recognise it as a sport.
A list of sports eligible for trials under sports quota are compiled by the varsity and colleges are permitted to choose a sport from the list for trials and reserve seats under it.
Hansraj college, Gargi college, Deshbandhu college, College of vocational studies, Kalindi college are some of the 11 colleges which have requested for permission to conduct Yoga trials this year, as claimed by the Delhi University Sports Council.
After identifying, it as a sport in 2015, the MYAS reversed its decision the next year.
The Sports Ministry had said in a letter dated December 21, 2016, that it was concluded that yoga cannot be termed as a sport since it has many arms/dimensions in which competitions are not be possible.
Rajesh Jha, executive council member of DU, claimed that there is no basis of including yoga in the list for sports quota as only Olympic sports are eligible for it.
Meanwhile,the university and colleges have been shifting responsibilities back and forth.
The fact that AIU( Association of Indian Universities), a non governmental body listed under the Societies Act continues to conduct inter university competitions in Yoga can be considered one of the reasons for considering Yoga as a sport, says Mr. Anil Kumar Kalkal, DU Sports Council Secretary.
Ambiguity on the legal sanction on qouta for yoga got further worsened when Gurdeep Singh, AIU Joint Secretary(Sports) was quoted saying that the association doesnot consider yoga as a sport. The competition is conducted only with the purpose of improving the standard of performance.
Despite Singh’s statement, AIU website lists yoga as a sport in its ‘Calender of events’ for 2017.
The matter is yet to be resolved.
Nonetheless, trials for yoga are scheduled to be conducted later this month.
Written by Sharlin and Jyotsna