AICTE has made it mandatory for engineering and technical graduates to participate in yoga and sports activities in order to obtain their degrees. Apart from yoga, participation in sports and other social activities have also been made mandatory apart from the regular academic activities for engineering undergraduates.
AICTE regulates over 10,000 institutions comprising more than 18 lakh students. Earlier, the regulatory body had the provision of National Social Service (NSS), Unnat Bharat Abhiyan and National Cadet Corps (NCC) as extra activities in technical colleges, however, these activities were optional. Only students who were willing to participate used to enroll for these activities.
However, the new norms indicate that the students will have to participate in either one of the activities mentioned above and maintain 25% attendance in these activities. AICTE has also clarified that there will be no marks for these activities.
According to the officials, the step has been taken to encourage holistic development of students. Other activities will also be started in colleges for the social well-being of students and engagement with societies, informed an AICTE official.
Such as the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan started under the Government’s flagship, allows the students to visit rural areas and interact with the local people. Such activities help the students in understanding the lifestyle of these people and motivate them to take up social initiatives.
Officials also added that yoga and sports activities will be highly beneficial for students who want to maintain good health.
In order to promote yoga at higher education levels, UGC had asked all the universities to celebrate International Yoga Day (IYD) and submit proof of activities that were performed by students during the events. These proofs were then evaluated by experts.