After making a strong pitch in the UN to observe an International Yoga Day, which has been supported by 50 countries, including the US and China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has created a separate ministry- AAYUSH, which will have Department of Ayurveda and Yoga, among others.
Modi, who is known to start his day with a yoga session, expanded his council of ministers on Sunday by inducting 21 ministers and appointed Shripad Yesso Naik as Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AAYUSH to look after Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy.
Earlier, AAYUSH was a department under the Health Ministry.
The Prime Minister has invariably mentioned the ancient Indian practice during his exchanges with important world leaders, including when he met leaders on his US visit in September.
The Prime Minister had also gifted a book on Yoga to his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott, who expressed an interest in the traditional Indian forms of physical, mental and spiritual practices when he came to India in September.
In his speech at the UN, Modi had asked member countries to celebrate June 21 as International Yoga Day.
Modi, while calling for International Yoga Day, had said that Yoga can change lifestyle and create consciousness and will also help us deal with climate change.
“Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being,” he had said.