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Deepening cultural ties: Yoga College in China attracts thousands

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Beijing: It’s truly said that Yoga knows no bounds. One such evidence is the China-India Yoga College which has drawn thousands since it opened in November last year. It is in Kunming in China’s Yunnan province.

Based in the Yunnan Minzu (Nationalities) University, the country’s first yoga college frequently has students queue up for free lessons in the ancient art, reports Xinhua news agency.

Lu Fang, deputy director of the college, said more than five dozen full-time students have completed yoga sessions. Close to 3,000 people participated in free yoga sessions offered by the college.

“Several companies and government offices invited our teachers to teach yoga,” said Lu.

Yoga was first introduced into China by Hong Kong practitioner Wai Lana in the 1980s. Her workout programmes, which aired daily on China’s Central Television, were the starting point for many Chinese yogis.

China’s white collar workers have adopted yoga as a way to stay fit, with many attending a couple of sessions per week in the gym or studio.

Lu said a growing number of people want to learn from Indian yoga masters.

“They not only learn yoga positions, but also sutras, philosophy, culture and dining habits from the Indian tutors,” Xinhua quoted Lu as saying.

“I only knew about Iyengar style, but after extensive learning with Indian tutors, I have come to a much deeper understanding of the yoga art,” said Han Mingxue, a Chinese yoga teacher in the college.

The college figured in one of 24 agreements reached during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China in May last year.

Under the agreement, India sends at least two tutors to the college. It does not issue degrees, but students who want a degree in yoga can pursue further study at Indian colleges.

Velusamy Subbulakshmi, who came from India’s Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, has spent the past five months giving yoga lessons.

She said it was not hard to communicate yoga culture with Chinese learners. “For example, the Chinese Taiji (shadowboxing), has a great deal of similarity with yoga,” she said.

“Yoga has become the most popular form of cultural exchange between China and India,” said Ding Shaoxiang, vice governor of Yunnan province.

China and India, as neighbours and two of the world’s fastest growing economies, have great potential in deepening cultural exchanges, he said. (IANS)

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Facebook Funds India’s Fastest Growing Education Start-Up “Unacademy”

In addition to raising the funding, Unacademy also provided exits to some of the angel investors

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"Facebook is an ally for India's economic growth and social development, and we are excited about India and it's rapidly rising Internet ecosystem," said Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India. VOA

Social media giant Facebook on Wednesday joined others such as General Atlantic and Sequoia India for a fresh $110 million round of funding into one of India’s fastest growing education technology start-up Unacademy.

“We thank General Atlantic and Facebook who have joined us in this journey and our existing investors who continue to be a part of the journey by supporting us. Our goal is to democratise education and become not just the largest educational organisation but the largest consumer Internet story out of India,” Gaurav Munjal, Co-Founder and CEO, Unacademy, said in a statement.

Nexus Venture Partners, Steadview Capital and Blume Ventures also participated in this round of funding, along with Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart and Sujeet Kumar, co-founder, Udaan, Unacademy said. “Facebook is an ally for India’s economic growth and social development, and we are excited about India and it’s rapidly rising Internet ecosystem,” said Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India.

“With this investment in Unacademy, we are reinforcing our commitment to the Indian startup ecosystem as well as investing in a company that is transforming learning in India. We love that the company is fundamentally democratising education and driving innovation in new learning models,” Mohan said.

Unacademy
Social media giant Facebook on Wednesday joined others such as General Atlantic and Sequoia India for a fresh $110 million round of funding into one of India’s fastest growing education technology start-up Unacademy. Pixabay

The edtech start-up said that it would utilise the funding to further penetrate into the test preparation categories, launching more exam categories, acquiring top educators, and creating exceptional learning experiences for the learners through great content and product. In addition to raising the funding, Unacademy also provided exits to some of the angel investors.

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“Our goal from day one has been to democratise education and make quality education accessible to everyone. We do that by bringing the best educators and content on our platform and ensuring it is accessible to everyone across the country,” Munjal said. (IANS)