Global Yoga Accreditation Summit

Global Summit organized by NAAC at the Headquarters of the United Nations paves the way forward for the New York ~ Bengaluru Vision Statement 2019 towards a Global Ecosystem in Yoga Higher Education through mainstreaming, collaboration and accreditation  

Experts during inaugural session at Global Summit Jointly organised by NAAC, PMI-UN & APQN at United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA in presence of H. E. K. Nagaraj Naidu, Indian Ambassador to UN, Dr. H. R. Nagendra, Hon’ble Chancellor, S-VYASA, Bengaluru, Dr. Geetha Krishnan Gopalakrishna Pillai, World Health Organization, Geneva, Prof. Jianxing Zhang, President, APQN, China & Dr. Jagannath Patil, Adviser, NAAC & Convener – GYAS.

Global Summit organized by NAAC at the Headquarters of the United Nations paves the way forward for the New York ~ Bengaluru Vision Statement 2019 towards a Global Ecosystem in Yoga Higher Education through mainstreaming, collaboration and accreditation                                                                  

April 26th 2019: In a historical move by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC; an Autonomous Institution under the University Grants Commission, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt of India), the Global

Yoga Accreditation Summit: Beginning of a Conversation towards a Global Ecosystem in Yoga Higher Education through Accreditation (GYAS) was organized at the UN Hall, UN Headquarters, New York, USA.

In close collaboration with the Asia Pacific Quality Network (APQN) and The Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, GYAS was represented by over 40 key stakeholders best comprising international and national inter and intra governmental policy makers, key leaders of accreditation bodies and networks, quality assurance agencies, representatives of prominent yoga higher education providers, yoga experts, fraternity from the medical and psychology fields etc.

The inaugural was marked with the presence of dignitaries on the dais – H.E.K. Nagaraj Naidu, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative at India’s Permanent Mission to UN; Padmashri H. R. Nagendra, Hon’ble Chancellor of S-VYASA; Dr. Geetha Krishnan Gopalakrishna Pillai, World Health Organization, Geneva; Prof. Jianxing Zhang, President, APQN, China and Dr. Jagannath Patil, Adviser, NAAC & Convener – GYAS.

This was followed by a key note address by Dr. H. R. Nagendra who outlined the context of yoga education and recognition around the world. The lead presentation on “NAAC’s framework on Yoga Higher Education Accreditation and discussions on proposed global initiatives” was given by Dr. Jagannath Patil, Convener-GYAS.

The session titled “State – of – Art of Yoga Higher Education: Recognition and Accreditation in India, USA and around the world” was facilitated jointly by Dr. Manjunath N.K, S-VYASA, India and John Kepner, IAYT, USA.

Key panellists included Swami Atmapriyananda, Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational Research Institute, India; Dr. Chinmay Pandya, Dev Sanskriti University, India; Dr. Dinesh Patel, Harvard University, USA; AntoniettaRozzi, Italy Yoga Accreditation, Italy; Dr. Lisa C Kaley-Isley, IAYT, UK; Melissa Schwartz, Meridian University, USA; Dilip Sarkar, IAYT, USA; Dr. Paran Gowda, University of Patanjali, India; Sat Bir Khalsa, Kundalini Research Institute and Kripalu Centre for Yoga and Health, USA; Diane M Finlayson, Maryland University of Integrative Health, USA; Dr. C. Rajan Narayanan, Life in Yoga Institute & Foundation, USA and Dr. Micheal de Manincor, Western Sydney University, Australia.

The first session concluded with a vote of thanks by Dr. M. S Shyamsundar, Adviser, NAAC, India.

The second session hosted in the premises of Gayatri Chetna Kendra in New Jersey started with a round table symposium on “Exploring Shared understanding and common protocol for Yoga Higher Education accreditation worldwide & Creating Global Ecosystem for promotion of Yoga Higher Education through Harmonization and Accreditation” was jointly facilitated by Dr. Christopher Key Chapple, Director Yoga Studies, Loyola Marymount University, USA and Dr. Richa Chopra, Chief Counsellor and member-IQAC, Sri Sri University, India and chaired by Dr. Chinmay Pandya.

Deliberations were put forward with the active participation from Dr. Moxraj, Indian Embassy, Washington DC; Dr. Indranill Basu Ray, St. Francis Hospital, USA; Shri Muralidhar Venkatrao, Washinton DC, USA; Prof. Dr Usha. S Nayar, Adelphi University’s Ruth S. Ammon School of Education, USA; Dr. Swami Satya Prakash, VISHWA, Canada; Dr. Arun K Garg, CINS, Canada.

GYAS through the co-ordination and co-operation amongst various stakeholders led to the general consensus on developing global framework “New York ~ Bengaluru Vision Statement 2019 towards a Global Ecosystem in Yoga Higher Education through mainstreaming, collaboration and accreditation” to be released worldwide on the 21st of June 2019 that marks the International Day of Yoga, after further worldwide consultations.

This vision statement will strive to nurture and groom both artistic and scientific temperaments towards the vast reservoir of Yogic knowledge firming itself on Traditional philosophical foundations, Authenticity of curriculum, Research, innovation and extension of yogic ecosystem, Yoga as a key tool for promotion of health and prevention of diseases and Application of the domain.

Further the vision statement will ensure the promotion of Yoga Programs that are well contained within a homogeneous international standard quality framework within the Higher Education ambit amalgamating a harmonization between the traditional philosophy and modern practices. And raise the benchmark on scientifically approaching the study of Yoga and provide further impetus to the growth and promotion of Yoga and unearth the techniques and innovatively adopt them for the benefits of the modern society.

GYAS was firmed on a recent desk-top study in progress (2019), undertaken by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), an Autonomous Institution

of University Grants Commission (UGC) of India revealed that nearly 60 University departments and a large number of other Higher Education Institutions such as colleges and stand alone yoga institutions etc., within the country are offering various levels of yoga programmes – which add up to almost 200 in number. Further, the study revealed that though there are thousands of Yoga sets ups (in the form of a studio, Yoga schools etc) both in the West and other parts of the world offering a multitude of trainings however, main stream programmes offered under the higher education ambit is almost negligent – not exceeding ten in numbers.

In order to create the pertinent space for authentic yoga into the mainstream education and make it as a career choice, NAAC has taken the historic initiative on coming out with the First Draft of The Yoga Accreditation Manual, finalized on the 6th March 2019 at Bengaluru for all Yoga programs within a HEI in the country. This also implied that Yoga programs offered are well contained within a homogeneous international standard quality framework.

Pinning the origins of Yoga to the Indus Valley and furthering the scope of accreditation outside the Indian territory, the GYAS was set on the vision to enable co-ordination and co-operation amongst various bodies dealing with recognition /accreditation bodies in Yoga worldwide through mutual dialogue and processes towards creating a global ecosystem in mainstreaming Yoga Programs and its accreditation within the higher education ambit amalgamating a harmonization between the traditional philosophy and modern practices.

The delegates appreciated the visionary effort by NAAC under patronage of Shri. R. Subrahmanyam, IAS, MHRD Secretary, Prof. D.P. Singh, UGC Chairman, Dr. Virander S. Chauhan, Chairman, Executive Committee (EC) of NAAC and Prof. S.C. Sharma, Director, NAAC

Shri Prem Bhandari, Chairman Jaipur Foot, USA and officials at permanent mission of India to UN extended valuable support to organize event at UN headquarters at New York, USA.

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