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Yoga training included in ‘Study in India’ Program


Education is a subject in the Concurrent List of the Constitution and majority of schools are under the jurisdiction of the State/Union Territory Governments and it is for the respective State/Union Territory Government to take a decision regarding inclusion of Yoga in the teaching curriculum for their schools.

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has made Health and Physical Education compulsory in all classes from I-XII for its affiliated schools. It has been advised to schools that Health and Physical Education includes three areas i.e. Health Education, Physical Education and Yoga and all three areas are essential to achieve holistic health (physical, mental, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual).

National Curriculum Framework (NCF), 2005 recommended Yoga as an integral part of Health and Physical Education.  Health and Physical Education is a compulsory subject from Class I to Class X and optional from Class XI to XII.   The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has already developed integrated syllabi on Health and Physical Education from Class I to Class X.  The syllabus is available on NCERT website

The Government has also included Yoga training in the “Study in India” programme to encourage Yoga seekers from abroad to obtain authentic Yoga training in India. University Grants Commission (UGC) has approved  the establishment of an Inter University Centre-Yogic Science at Bengaluru and introduced Yoga as a new National Eligibility Test (NET) subject from January 2017 UGC-NET onwards. Further, in order to promote Yoga in the country, Yoga Departments have been established in nine Central Universities.

NCERT organized Yoga Olympiad across the country at various levels, schools from states and UTs, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools participated in the Yoga Olympiad, culminating in the National Yoga Olympiad on 18th to 20thJune, 2019 at NCERT, New Delhi. The valedictory function was held at New Delhi, wherein Prizes were awarded to the winning teams.

The Government has set up a Yoga Certification Board (YCB) to standardize and strengthen Yoga training by providing certification to individuals and accreditation to Institutions. This is a significant step in spreading Yoga in India and other countries. Under the Information Education and Communication (IEC) Scheme of the AYUSH Ministry, many activities are taken up to reach out to people and to create awareness about Yoga. IEC activities include programs on TV, Radio, Print-media, seminar, Arogya Fairs, Seminars/ Conference/ Workshops to create awareness about Yoga among the people.

Indian Missions in foreign countries, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the Ministry of Tourism take up a series of activities every year to promote Yoga world-wide, the highlights of which are the Mass Yoga Demonstrations organized at on the International Day of Yoga in different cities across the world including iconic locations Eiffel Tower, Times Square etc.

National Institute of Naturopathy (NIN), an Institute under Ministry of AYUSH, conducts on an average 16 outreach activities every month to popularize Yoga and Naturopathy, some of which are held in villages near Pune. Under National AYUSH Mission (NAM), financial assistance is provided to States and Union Territories for setting up AYUSH wellness Centres, in which Yoga is an important component.

In addition, Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY) is an autonomous organisation under Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India. MDNIY is a focal Institute for Planning, Training, Promotion and Coordination of Yoga Education, Training, Therapy and Research in all its aspects. MDNIY aims to promote deeper understanding of Yoga philosophy and practices based on classical Yoga amongst people.

Categories: Educational News

Union Budget Reactions 2019-20



We completely hail the government’s vision of a New India that will thrive on the confluence of new age digital technologies, quality education and apt skilling. We look forward to partnering with the industry and academia to nurture the start-up ecosystem, and to fuel a culture of research and innovation that will help travel the road to India becoming a five trillion dollar economy. ” – CP Gurnani, MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra.

“We are pleased with the government’s thrust on improving infrastructure and technology as catalysts for the economy going ahead. For India to be on the path to being the 3rd largest economy by 2030, the budget’s rightfully emphasizes that robust improvements are required in social infrastructure and education. The plan to set up 20 technology incubators to push rural development opens the stage for new initiatives that will enable India to become a $5 trillion economy in the years ahead. Additionally, the budget has emphasized on 17 ‘iconic sites’ which will be transformed into world-class destinations to provide an impetus to the tourism sector. All these initiatives, I believe, will assist in reshaping and empowering the country and will help to drive and sustain long-term growth for India.” – Rajiv Bhalla, Managing Director, Barco India.


“The budget while precisely laying the foundation of the role technology has to play for distant New India, has very little to offer for immediate New India. The expectation was some out of box thoughts that could resolve some major challenges like debt in telecom, increasing domestic value addition in manufacturing or tech led job creation. But this is a budget at usual.” – Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst, techARC.

Consumer Electronics and Telecom

With a strong focus on quality education, research, innovation, skill-building and infrastructure upgrade, India is on the right track to become a leading global economy in the near future. In the smartphones industry where consumers, especially, the millennials willing to spend more to upgrade their devices every two years and the market driving with a continuous strive towards upscaling the technological offering, there is an alarming need to amplify skill training in this industry, more importantly to boost the Made-in-India initiative. The Kaushal Vikas Yojana to train 10 million youth in industry-relevant skill is the perfect foundation that will further boost the indigenous brands and come up with products that are at par with international standards.” – Pardeep Jain, Managing Director, Jaina Group.

“The first Budget of the Modi 2.0 government has all the right ingredients to bring about structural changes in the economy. Multiple measures have been announced with focus on private sector-led investment, jobs, rural distress and exports. Basic custom duty has been hiked on select items to support the government’s cherished ‘Make in India’ dream. Meanwhile, we continue to await long-term measures that will aid market sentiment and boost the consumption cycle.”  – Dr. Abhishek Garg, Executive Director, Sansui India.

Real Estate

“Budget 2019 has announced new measure to promote rental housing, including a new tenancy law. This has been long pending is a much-needed upgrade to the outdated law. Getting HFCs under RBI regulation is a good move. Govt is also aiming to build 1.95 cr houses under PMAY-Gramin in the next 2 years, giving a massive push to housing all by 2022. We are looking forward to lower interest rates and measures to resolve costly real estate to bolster activity in the real estate space.” – Mr. Prashant Solomon, MD, Chintels India and the Hon. Treasurer for CREDAI NCR.

Union Budget 2019 reiterates the Government’s policy of providing ‘Housing for All’ by 2022 and provides further tax incentives for home buyers in the affordable housing segment. This will definitely give a fillip to demand by making housing more affordable. We also welcome the move to bring in ‘Model Tenancy Law’ as it has the potential to spawn growth of new segments such as rental housing, student housing, senior living etc.” – Nagaraju Routhu, CEO Hero Realty Pvt. Ltd.


“The government’s vision of growing India’s economy to touch $5 trillion promises strong growth for all involved sectors and we welcome the possibilities. The Finance Minister has emphasized on developing the retail sector and we believe this sector will provide adequate thrust to the economy’s prosperity. Opening the sector to foreign direct investment has opened up new avenues for us and we are prepared for the upcoming boom in the retail segment and across the economy.” – Abhishek Bansal, Executive Director, Pacific India.


“The budget tabled today is crafted to attain the goal of reaching the $5 trillion economy mark in the upcoming years. The government’s wide-ranging initiatives for the development of the working sector, the financial segment, women’s development and the agrarian populace is commendable. We are certainly heartened by the budget’s emphasis on developing and popularizing sports in India and look forward to being a part of this journey.” –  MD Arun Pandey, Rhiti sports.


“Allocation of Rs 400 crore for world-class higher education, ‘Study in India‘, new national education policy, thrust towards R&D, skilling and new–age technologies are all steps in the right direction that will help, the government, industry and academia in establishing India as the next educational hub. Additionally, the emphasis on quality education, improving the overall infrastructure will help the country become future-ready with a deeper focus on research and new age skills such as robotics and AI.” – Mr. Prashant GuptaExecutive Director, Sharda University.

“We hail the intent in this budget of a New India that aims to make the country as one of the leading higher education destination in the world. The focus on a new national policy, efforts to increase government funding, emphasis on research, skilling & digital technologies are the levers that will surely help drive India’s growth as one of the leading economies in future. We look forward to achieve the collective digital dream.” – Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Vice-Chancellor, World University of Design.


“This is a mixed budget, realizing that it is an interim budget, we had higher expectations, on one side it benefits realty sector by promoting 7 Lac benefit in home loan for apartments below 45 Lac, and benefit to education sector by encouraging students to come and study in India in addition to incentivising for manufacturing “Make in India” in aspects such as lithium batteries for EV vehicles in India; however healthcare schemes like Ayushman Bharat could have been strengthened by further allocation of budget and strengthening of healthcare. India’s current spend on healthcare is one of the lowest in the world with the current spend on healthcare remaining just a little over 1 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The government in its National Health Policy spoke about increasing the spend to 2.5 percent of the GDP.” – Farhan Pettiwala, Executive Director & Head Development– India & South Asia, AKHAND JYOTI EYE HOSPITAL (A TATA Initiative).

Categories: Educational News

Union Budget 2019-20: Relief for Start-ups


Capital gains exemptions from sale of residential house for investment in start-ups extended till FY21.

‘Angel tax’ issue resolved- start-ups and investors filing requisite declarations and providing information in their returns not to be subjected to any kind of scrutiny in respect of valuations of share premiums.

Funds raised by start-ups to not require scrutiny from Income Tax Department

E-verification mechanism for establishing identity of the investor and source of funds.

Special administrative arrangements for pending assessments and grievance redressal

No inquiry in such cases by the Assessing Officer without obtaining approval of the supervisory officer.

No scrutiny of valuation of shares issued to Category-II Alternative Investment Funds.

Relaxation of conditions for carry forward and set off of losses.

Categories: Educational News

Priyanka Varma Launches her Second Book ‘Girl in the City’


Priyanka Varma, a renowned fiction author has launched her second novel ‘Girl in the City’. The author has narrated the story of love and inspiration through the character Tanya.

The book Girl in the City’s main character Tanya’s life is like a true Cinderella story – lost and found in her 10-year journey. Tanya began her 10-year sojourn as a naive and starry-eyed, Generation X with a dream to weave out her own identity amongst the many social and societal barriers. However, like those very enthusiastic Generation X women, she began to faulter and stumble at every step in each of these aspects of her life.

She, for a time period, fell into the spell of endless cycles of repetition and prolix. She was made to realize that in order to actually evolve in a positive and healthy way, she needed to step back, switch gears, revaluate her priorities and max out her abilities, all thanks to a guarded pace. Thanks to a reassuring presence in her life – her affirmer.  He was her modern-day Charles Darwin. Despite leading a fast-paced life, he displayed qualities of being tenacious and resilient, preciously what she was lacking in her life.

Book Cover – Girl in the City

She was truly happy in his guidance. She wanted more from life, thereafter, she wanted him, so much.

Talking about her motivation to write the book, Priyanka Varma says, “Change is the only constant in life, it isn’t about the impact it has on you but about the way you respond to it. Being inactive towards changes stagnates your growth and perspective on life. Thus, to steer in the direction of inevitable change, you can either be destructive or constructive.”

You only need to keep in mind that conditions needn’t change, but the way you handle yourself needs to change. Circumstances exist for long periods of time, but you won’t thrive if you adapt poorly towards them. Thus, this catharsis, or change only happens successfully if one is inspired.”

Published by Petals Publishers, the price of the book is Rs. 195/- with total 142 pages. The book is available online on

About Priyanka Varma

Priyanka Varma is a graduate of University of Western Ontario, Toronto, Canada. She has lived in India, Middle East and Canada in her lifetime. She has done her schooling from Sacred Heart – Jamshedpur, Indian School Muscat – Oman and Milliken Mills High School – Canada.

In addition to her fervor for writing, she is a trained finance professional. She has worked for leading organizations such as Astral Media and Union Bank of Switzerland in Toronto as an analyst.

Her first novel, The Rite to Love, was published in November of 2015. It was based on her observations on a live-in relationship with a backdrop of morsels of being married. Contrasting the two with the barometer of being accepted. She has also blogged for TOI (Times of India), published her book of poems, Genesis, in 2015 and is also in process of publishing her second book of poems, Enshrined, in memory of her late father, Manu Varma.

During her high school years, she has volunteered for Women’s College Hospital (Toronto) to raise awareness on post-partem care for women, Red Cross Canada and worked for a campaign called ‘Rest Up-Save Your Neck‘ carried out by Insurance Bureau of Canada to raise awareness on injuries caused due to improper head-rest positioning in vehicles. She has also mentored troubled children for a program called ‘Stand By Me’ in London, Ontario (Canada) in university.

Her hobbies include reading (voraciously, she devours any narrative with a consequence), swimming (lives for that first dive in the pool after long, morose winters), writing ( thinks its the best way to express your most impertinent understanding of the world) and cooking (validates the fascinating correlation between recipes and the ways in which they seduce all the five senses).

Currently, and infinitely ever, relishing in the realm of motherhood. She is a mom to her 6 year-old, “MM” (mini-me) daughter named Aanya.

In the future, she would like to publish her third book, consisting of short narratives, for her child.

Categories: Educational News

Management training, one-on-one support and networking opportunities to growth-minded business leaders


Frank Omondi is a wildlife biologist turned entrepreneur. His desire to lead a business that makes a positive impact on the community led him to become the managing director of Ten Senses Africa, a fair trade cashew and macadamia nut processing company based in Nairobi, Kenya.

With a background in wildlife biology, Omondi realized he needed further training to help him continue to drive the company forward. That realization led him to join the Stanford Seed Transformation Program in 2016.

Stanford Seed is a one-year certificate program delivered by Stanford University through Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) that operates in East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, and India. The program, which is designed exclusively for busy business owners and CEOs, provides management training, one-on-one support, and networking opportunities to growth-minded business leaders.

Following Omondi’s participation in the program, Ten Senses Africa doubled its sales, now provides 1 million cashew seedlings to support 30,000 local farmers, and employs 600 people, two-thirds of whom are single mothers. The company was able to expand to Tanzania with the support of the Seed Transformation Network, a group composed of past participants in the program.

“The program created a lot of trust between the participants,” said Omondi. “It is difficult to know anyone in Tanzania if you are based in another African country. Through the program, we were able to learn what other people were doing in those countries, which enabled us to have entry.”

Surveys of past participants of the Seed Transformation Program reveal the impact participants and their organizations have on their communities. After completing the program, 89 percent of participants grew their customers, 72 percent introduced a new product or service, 64 percent increased their revenue, and 50 percent expanded into new geographies.

“I’m inspired by the change participants are effecting in their communities,” said Darius Teter, executive director of Stanford Seed. “One organization’s growth and success can have a significant impact, and we’re thrilled to partner with promising entrepreneurs as they take their businesses to the next level.”

Participants work with Stanford GSB faculty to gain the essential business and leadership skills that will enable them to grow their companies and, in turn, positively impact their communities. Admitted participants:

  • Create an action plan to grow and scale their business;
  • Get in-company support from trained facilitators who help introduce what they’ve learned to their management team and promote buy-in;
  • Develop relationships with like-minded leaders to share experiences and develop an ongoing peer-to-peer support network;
  • Receive pro-bono project-based consulting services from senior executives.
Categories: Educational News

Swiss Re Hosts Exclusive Career Forum for Women -‘ElevateHER’


Swiss Re Global Business Solutions Centre Bangalore recently hosted an exclusive meet-up for women across different professions to come together to network and learn from each other as well as from industry leaders. Swiss Re Global Business Solutions Centre Bangalore is an analytical and innovation hub of leading global reinsurer Swiss Re.

The forum, called ElevateHER, was aimed at helping unleash women’s potential at work. It comprised of a workshop on Overcoming Career Barriers by leadership coach Dr. Ushy Mohandas, a keynote session by Jasbir Pannu, Regional Head HR – APAC, Swiss Re, interactive sessions with leaders and speed interviews. With more than 120 women in attendance from various walks of life, this event elicited a lot of interest from participants.

Jasbir Pannu, Regional Head HR – APAC, Swiss Re, said, “By building a culture that allows a myriad of experiences, identities, professional expertise etc. to work together, we are inspiring people to thrive in today’s dynamic, fast-paced digital world.”

According to Pannu, society shapes the perception of women about themselves through unconscious biases and moulds their opinion to reinforce the idea of patriarchy in their minds. Speaking of equality in the workforce, Pannu pointed that one cannot ask for equality if they are expecting to be treated differently for their gender. She added, “We must be careful of what we teach our next generation, and how conscious we must be about it.”

Amit Kalra, Head of Global Business Solutions Centre Bangalore, says, At Swiss Re, inclusion is at the heart of our strategy. Whether it be inclusion with regard to thoughts, expertise, education, gender identity and sexual orientation, age, profession, ethnicity or any other aspect of our being, we believe and have seen over the years that such diversity together enriches us and makes us stronger.”

At Swiss Re, we have a flexible, inclusive and open culture where dialogue and different perspectives are valued. We appreciate the ever changing working preferences of different cultures, generations and personalities. Our culture and leadership supports an authentic environment in which we all value each other’s differences and where everyone can bring their true selves to work.

Gender Intelligence Workshops, Female Mentorship Programs, LGBTI+ integration are some of the initiatives here at Swiss Re Bangalore which enable employees and help uphold our culture of inclusion.

Categories: Educational News

Six New Deakin University Research Projects to Benefit India


From agricultural drones, to recycled textile waste, to supporting women entrepreneurs – an innovative partnership scheme will draw on Deakin University’sand other world experts to build India’s research capacity.

Top researchers from Deakin University, Australia, will contribute their expertise to research in India in five important areas: agriculture and food sustainability; AI and cognitive science; green and renewable energies; humanities and social sciences; and law and society.

The Deakin projects are being funded through the Scheme for the Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC), an initiative of Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. SPARC aims to improve the research ecosystem of India’s Higher Education institutions by ‘facilitating academic and research collaborations between Indian Institutions and the best institutions in the world’.

Deakin’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Julie Owens congratulated the project recipients and noted that Deakin’s strong outcome reflects the University’s long history in India, as well as the quality of the successful researchers. “Deakin was in the top five institutions globally to be funded through SPARC,” she said. “This is a fantastic acknowledgement for Deakin. We recently celebrated 25 years in India and we were the first international university to open an office in India in 1994.”

The scheme funds international primary investigators and PhD students/postdocs to travel to India and organise workshops and research in India, as well as funding Indian scholars to visit partner institutions overseas.

A total of 363 proposals are being funded through SPARC, with Deakin being one of the two Australian university to be awarded six projects, more than any other Australian university. One of the Deakin project leaders, Professor of Management, Alexander Newman, added that the projects will not only benefit India, but the knowledge gained will be translatable to many other countries, which face similar challenges.

Deakin SPARC projects include:

– Agricultural and Food Sustainability

  • Professor Saeid Nahavandi, Director, Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation, will work with Professor Laxmidhar Behera, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur: Deployment of low-cost multi-rotor mini-UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) for early detection of crop diseases and development of an optimal system for management of farming activities.

– Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science

  • Dr Gang Li, School of Information Technology, will work with Dr Aswani Kumar Cherukuri, from Vellore Institute of Technology: Intelligent anomaly detection system for encrypted network traffic.

– Future of Earth: Green and Renewable Technologies

  • Professor Robin Doss, Deputy Head, School of Information Technology, will work with Dr C Srimathi at Vellore Institute of Technology: Enabling smart and safe cities through IoT technologies.
  • Dr Rangam Rajkhowa, Institute for Frontier Materials, will work with Dr G Thilagavathi at the PSG College of Technology: Recycling of textile industrial waste as value-added composite materials.

– Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Dr Alexander Newman, Associate Dean, International, Deakin Business and Law, will work with Dr Madhura Manish Bedarkar, Symbiosis International: The interplay of social, human, financial and psychological capital in shaping entrepreneurial outcomes of women entrepreneurs: an Indian perspective.

– Law and Society

  • Dr Luckmika Perera, Deakin Business School, will work with Professor Charumathi Balakrishnan from Pondicherry University: International financial reporting standards (IFRS) into the world of small and medium enterprises – A study pertaining to Australia and India (An evaluation of reporting culture, adaptability, applicability and development of IFRS Framework).
Categories: Educational News