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Six Central Universities to introduce Yoga Departments in India, says Smriti Irani

Union HRD Minister said that in view of significant role of Yoga to develop all faculties of life, the HRD ministry has taken steps to popularize yoga from school to University level

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Bengaluru : Yoga enthusiasts performs yoga at Art of Living Center in Bengaluru on Saturday. Image source: PTI / Shailendra Bhojak
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  • Smriti Irani announced the establishment of yoga departments in six central universities 
  • A panel suggested that certificate courses be offered to Master’s and Bachelor’s in yogic sciences
  • AICTE has held yoga workshops under the pretext of Yoga Day

Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister of Human Resource Development addressing a National Seminar on Yoga has announced that Yoga departments will be opened up in six universities in the academic calendar 2016-17, eventually expanding to 20 universities.

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The universities that will currently feature a department for yoga are Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, Uttarakhand (North), Visva Bharati, West Bengal (East), Central University of Rajasthan (West), Central University of Kerala (South), Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh,(Central) and Manipur University (North East), said the hinduismtoday.com report.

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Smriti Irani. Image source: indiatoday.intoday.in
Smriti Irani. Image source: indiatoday.intoday.in

The seminar was attended by vice chancellors of the universities concerned. Irani urged academicians to set scientific importance of yogic sciences. In IIT Kharagpur, this has been achieved through empirical evidences. Efforts by AICTE for conducting various workshops throughout the country were well appreciated.

A panel headed by Prof H.R. Nagendra has suggested that certificate courses to Bachelor’s and Master’s would be offered in yogic sciences, says pib.nic.in.

-The report is compiled by a staff-writer at NewsGram. 

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Yoga not only works physically on your body, but it also helps you from within. It gives you a positive vibe from within with a lot of motivation

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Refugee Communities Can Be Built By Tech Industries

Mikkelsen said the initiative was a win-win as it would also benefit companies by slashing costs.

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Refugees
Congolese families sit at the Kyangwali refugee settlement camp, Uganda, March 19, 2018. A California company is testing an app in Uganda that lets refugees earn money for AI training. VOA

Companies could help refugees rebuild their lives by paying them to boost artificial intelligence (AI) using their phones and giving them digital skills, a tech nonprofit said Thursday.

REFUNITE has developed an app, LevelApp, which is being piloted in Uganda to allow people who have been uprooted by conflict to earn instant money by “training” algorithms for AI.

Wars, persecution and other violence have uprooted a record 68.5 million people, according to the U.N. refugee agency.

People forced to flee their homes lose their livelihoods and struggle to create a source of income, REFUNITE co-chief executive Chris Mikkelsen told the Trust Conference in London.

Rohingya, Myanmar, refugees
Rohingya refugees cross floodwaters at Thangkhali refugee camp in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district. VOA

“This provides refugees with a foothold in the global gig economy,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s two-day event, which focuses on a host of human rights issues.

$20 a day for AI work

A refugee in Uganda currently earning $1.25 a day doing basic tasks or menial jobs could make up to $20 a day doing simple AI labeling work on their phones, Mikkelsen said.

REFUNITE says the app could be particularly beneficial for women as the work can be done from the home and is more lucrative than traditional sources of income such as crafts.

The cash could enable refugees to buy livestock, educate children and access health care, leaving them less dependant on aid and helping them recover faster, according to Mikkelsen.

Rohingya, Myanmar, refugees
Rohingya refugee women wait outside of a medical center at Jamtoli camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. VOA

The work would also allow them to build digital skills they could take with them when they returned home, REFUNITE says.

“This would give them the ability to rebuild a life … and the dignity of no longer having to rely solely on charity,” Mikkelsen told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Teaching the machines

AI is the development of computer systems that can perform tasks that normally require human intelligence.

It is being used in a vast array of products from driverless cars to agricultural robots that can identify and eradicate weeds and computers able to identify cancers.

Refugees
In this Aug. 27, 1994 file photo, U.S. Coast Guard crew from the cutter Staten Island are hindered by rough seas in the Florida Straits as they attempt to rescue Cuban refugees. VOA

In order to “teach” machines to mimic human intelligence, people must repeatedly label images and other data until the algorithm can detect patterns without human intervention.

REFUNITE, based in California, is testing the app in Uganda where it has launched a pilot project involving 5,000 refugees, mainly form South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. It hopes to scale up to 25,000 refugees within two years.

Also Read: Rohingyas Repatriation to Myanmar Scrapped by Bangladesh

Mikkelsen said the initiative was a win-win as it would also benefit companies by slashing costs.

Another tech company, DeepBrain Chain, has committed to paying 200 refugees for a test period of six months, he said. (VOA)