Eleven Delhi University (DU) colleges have this year reserved seats for yoga under the sports quota. However, the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs (MYAS) has already refused to acknowledge yoga as a sports discipline.
After recognising it as a sport in 2015, the MYAS went back on its decision. In a letter released by the Ministry in December 2016 to all national sports federations, and the Indian Olympic Association it said: “After elaborate discussion, it was concluded that yoga has various dimensions/arms in which competitions are not possible.”
When IANS contacted the DU Sports Council for clarification, it said that the colleges had requested the university to conduct yoga trials.
“Yes, Yoga has been under sports quota, and it has been there in previous years also. Last year, 19 colleges had applied for trials for yoga under sports quota. The decision, in which sports admissions are to be made, are taken by the colleges,” Anil Kalkal, Director of the varsity sports council which conducts the centralised trials for sports quota on behalf of colleges, told IANS.
TOI further disclosed that Kalkal cited another factor in the form of inter-university competition, held by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) – a non-governmental body listed under the Societies Act – as one of the reasons for considering yoga as a sport.
M.P. Sharma, Sports Convener at Hansraj College, told IANS, “We consider Delhi University and AIU the governing bodies. If an activity is listed as a sport by the university, we follow that. If DU tells us that it will not conduct trials in yoga then we will also give it up. The government doesn’t have a role in it.”
It seems the university and the colleges have been shifting blame back and forth. The dilemma, however, stands unresolved.
On the other hand, The Indian Express in an article reported that till last year, Delhi University colleges were open to admission for ‘super’ category sports such as kayaking, rowing, equestrian and golf. This year, however, these sports are out of the list for admission under the sports quota.
On this issue, Anil Kalkal said the decision had been taken by the executive council of the sports committee. “These sports were part of the ‘super’ category, which means that the student will have to be an international-level player. But we received applications from those who played at the national level…no admissions were held last year. So, we decided to do away with it.”
Meanwhile, four colleges – Deshbandhu, Ramanujan, Satyawati (Evening) and Sri Aurobindo College, are accepting applications from students under the “best physique” or bodybuilding category.