New Delhi: After science and mathematics Olympiad, the NCERT is set to organise the first ever 'Yoga Olympiad' for all government and government-aided schools students ahead of the International Yoga Day on June 21.
The three-day event will begin from Saturday and culminate on the eve of the International Yoga Day with an award ceremony to be attended by HRD minister Smriti Irani.
"To be conducted with different syllabus for upper primary and secondary students from block, district, state to national level, participants will be tested on five yogic practices: Asanas, Pranayam, Kriya (cleansing process), Dhyana (meditation), Bandha and Mudra," NCERT Director Hrushikesh Senapaty told reporters.
However, considering the opposition to 'Surya Namaskar' and Om Chanting by certain sections, NCERT has made it optional and it will not be under the categories to be assessed.
The theme of the Olympiad is 'Yoga for Health and Harmony'.
"It is important that the younger generation is given a direction of holistic vision of sharing, caring, harmony, peace and love as the key features of yoga. Olympiad will help to develop an understanding of yogic practices, their application in one's life and living which in turn develop physical, emotional and mental development of children," he said.
The students were first selected at the block level followed by district level and then state level. The 16 finalists (four boys and four girls at upper primary and equal number at the secondary level) will be competing in Delhi during the Olympiad which is now going to be an annual feature.
Assessment of participants will be done by a jury based on certain criteria. The children will be assessed based on the practical performance of various yogic activities. Only practical aspects of yogic practices in terms of performance will be judged, the NCERT Director said.
At each stage, there will be a team of three judges having expertise in Asanas, Pranayam, Kriya, Bandh. The jury members will be drawn from educators, practitioners/ scholars from different institutions, schools and yoga institutes across the country.