11 Delhi University (DU) colleges have this year reserved seats for yoga under their sports quota. However, the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affair (MYAS) has refused to acknowledge yoga as a sport. The university and the colleges, meanwhile, have been shifting responsibility back and forth.
After recognising it as a sport in 2015, the MYAS reversed its decision. “After elaborate discussion, it was concluded that yoga has various dimensions/arms in which competitions are not possible.
Hence, it was agreed that it cannot be termed a sport. Consequently, it may not be appropriate to recognise any organisation as NSF (national sports federation) for yoga,” the Sports Ministry had said in a letter dated December 21, 2016, to all national sports federations and the Indian Olympic Association.
Anil Kalkal, Director of the varsity sports council which conducts the centralised trials for sports quota on behalf of colleges, said, “Yes, Yoga has been under sports quota, and it has been there in previous years also. Last year, 19 colleges had applied for trial for it under sports quota. The decision, in which sports admissions are to be made, is taken by the colleges.”
Although colleges are entitled to choose a sport for trials and reserve seats under it, the list of sports from which they are to choose is compiled by the varsity.
“Addition of Yoga will end up undermining the chances of admission of those who are trained in genuine sports. This seems like a completely arbitrary decision,” Rajesh Jha, a DU professor and Executive Council member added.