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Gist of Yojana and Kurukshetra magazine – June 2019

Summary of Yojana and Kurukshetra magazine

Yoga & Alternative Systems of Medicine

The word yoga was first mentioned in the Rig-Veda, but its philosophy was given by Sage Panini in his book Yoga Sutra. The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit root yuj (“to yoke”) and is generally translated as “union of the individual atma with Paramatma”.

All is one – The Approach

Yoga means to join. Its ultimate goal is to experience the unity of individual and universal consciousness. There is no ‘us’ and ‘they’ — everything is us. This is an integral or holistic approach.

A new way of thought

Globalisation attempts to integrate nations through the concept of the world as one market. The market forces, instead of balancing conflicts, have additionally deepened the error lines. This has resulted in a world that is out of balance. Refurbishment of the balance in this planet is a big challenge. Enlightened global minds need to think about a substitution archetype. The theme of the 2019 International Yoga Day is “Climate Action”.

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Yoga and the Human Body

Yoga has a significantly positive impact on health. Yoga leads to improved lower body strength, lower body flexibility and depression. India is contributing to the health and well-being of millions of people across the globe. Leading from the front, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been spearheading this massive knowledge-sharing exercise.

Establishment of the first India-China Yoga College at the Yunnan Minzu University in Kunming in China and the India-Turkmenistan Centre for Yoga and Traditional Medicine in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan are a few of the important first steps in the efforts to spread the benefits of yoga.

Yoga – A New Lifestyle

Yoga is not just about health and well-being. It is also about “focusing” and “excelling”. Yoga, therefore, is a way of thinking, a way of behaving, a way of learning and a way of problem-solving.

Yoga Heals on the Spiritual, Mental and Physical Levels

  1. Physical Body – The Vehicle for the Soul
  • Annamaya Kosha – The Food Illusion Sheath
  1. Astral Body – A Subtle Body that the Eyes Cannot See
  • Pranamaya Kosha – The Energy Body
  • Manomaya Kosha – The Mind
  • Vijnanamaya Kosha – The Intellect
  1. Causal Body – The Core from Which Your Karma Originates
  • Anandamaya Kosha – The Bliss Sheath

Benefits of Yoga


Alternative Systems of Medicine (ASM)

The World Health Organisation Report for 2018 highlights that non-communicable diseases account for 63 per cent of deaths in India. Systematically promoting integrative medicine — an approach that combines modern medicine with alternative systems like Ayurveda and Yoga — is perhaps more crucial now than ever before.

Why integration?

Alternative systems follow a more holistic approach, with the objective of promoting overall well-being instead of focussing on curing illness alone. Greater scientific evidence is becoming available regarding the health impact of alternative systems of medicine, especially Yoga. India has nearly eight lakh registered Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) practitioners whose services can be better utilised for delivering healthcare to the population.

But, there is still some scepticism perhaps due to the paucity of large-scale studies in India demonstrating its effectiveness. The emphasis of AYUSH on overall well-being makes it less tangible compared to modern medicine which focusses on treating diseases. Resistance of some modern medicine practitioners is another key roadblock.

The Way Forward

The government has taken several steps to promote AYUSH. A dedicated ministry was set up at the Central level in 2014. AYUSH is one of the 12 champion services sectors that the government seeks to promote.

  • The co-location of AYUSH with facilities providing allopathic medicine needs to be ramped up considerably.
  • Investments in AYUSH education and research need to be stepped up.
  • A range of communication channels should be leveraged to popularise Ayurveda and Yoga and inform citizens about their preventive and curative properties.
  • Essential AYUSH medicines must be included in various national health programmes

Alternative Medicines:



The new health policy pitches AYUSH as a panacea for the health problems that plague the country’s 1.2 billion people. The key strategies that were identified by the Government of India towards the process of mainstreaming were:

  • Integration and mainstreaming of the Indian systems of medicine
  • Encouragement and establishment of Indian systems of medicine specialty centres
  • Facilitation and strengthening of quality control laboratories
  • Strengthening drug standardisation research
  • Advocacy for AYUSH
  • Establishing sectoral linkages for AYUSH

Drinking Water for Rural India

Rural India has more than 700 million people residing in about 1.42 million habitations spread over 15 diverse ecological regions. Despite an estimated total of Rs. 1,105 billion spent on providing safe drinking water since the First Five Year Plan was launched in 1951, lack of safe and secure drinking water continues to be a major hurdle.

Rural Water Supply

The provision of clean drinking water has been given priority in the Constitution of India, with Article 47. Rural water supply (RWS) programmes in India can be divided into several distinct phases:

  1. Early Independence (1947-1969)
  2. Transition from technology to policy (1969-1989)
  3. Restructuring phase (1989-1999)
  4. Consolidation phase (2000 onwards)



Trends in the country

The majority of the ministry’s budget is allocated to the Swachh Bharat Mission (72% in 2018-19). NRDWP primarily focuses on providing potable water through piped household connections. The lack of funding, combined with poor fund management, was an important factor behind NRDWP failing to meet important targets.

Status of Piped Water in the Country

Currently, less than 20 per cent of rural households have access to piped water; hand pumps are their main source of potable water. To ensure piped water supply to all rural households by 2024, there needs to be focus on integrated demand and supply side management of water at the local level. But certain preconditions must be met:

  1. We need a clear understanding of the aquifers to be used for water supply.
  2. We also need to ensure that the entire water supply system is operated and managed by local institutions led by women, adequately empowered to do so.
  3. A small reduction in the area under crops would go a long way in addressing India’s water problem.
  4. We urgently need to explore all possible alternatives to the 20th century paradigm of chemical agriculture.
  5. The Jal Shakti ministry’s challenge will be to ensure that mistakes are not repeated.

Water Quality

Nearly 88% of the piped water provided through NRDWP comes from groundwater. Citizens should be made aware of the demand for clean drinking water as a right.

Revival of traditional water conservation structures

Excavations show that the cities of the Indus Valley Civilisation had excellent systems of water harvesting and drainage. Chanakya’s Arthashashtra mentions irrigation using water harvesting systems.

  1. Jhalara
  2. Talab /Bandhi
  3. Bawari
  4. Taanka
  5. Ahar Pynes
  6. Johads
  7. Panam Keni
  8. Khadin
  9. Kund
  10. Baoli
  11. Nadi
  12. Bhandara Phad
  13. Zing
  14. Kuhls
  15. Zabo
  16. Bamboo Drip Irrigation
  17. Jackwells
  18. Ramtek Model
  19. Pat System
  20. Eri

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