Foreigners and Indians are queuing up alike to get the Government-backed certification for yoga professionals from the Quality Council of India (QCI) in order to make yoga a source of their livelihood. QCI is an apex quality facilitation and accreditation body under the Union Commerce Ministry.

QCI Joint Director Manish Pande told, that since last year, when the scheme was opened up for foreigners, 350 yoga professionals have received the certificate, making them eligible to impart the  Indian traditional discipline in their countries. Similarly, over 1,000 and 800 Indians have got Level 1 and Level 2 certificates respectively in the last two years. The scheme was launched in 2015 following UN declaration to mark June 21 as International Yoga Day at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

This demand for the QCI certificate under the scheme which is being mentored by the Ayush Ministry is on the rise. According to a report, there is demand for around 37,000 yoga trainers abroad.  Pande said, “Overall, we have received over 25,000 registrations. Keeping in view the demand from abroad as well from here, we are working fast to process these applications without compromising the quality.”

It involves certifying the competence level of professionals to help their deployment within and outside the country. At present, there is no central legislation for the regulation of education and practice in yoga.

“We have applications from across the world such as Japan, Australia, Germany, Paris, Spain, Munich, and China.  In January, the Centro Cultural India, Embassy of India in Peru, and QCI inked a pact for the promotion of yoga in Peru, Bolivia, and its adjoining regions,” Pande added.

In view of the huge demand for India yoga trainers from abroad, the Indian Council of Central Research (ICCR) under the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has asked the QCI to expedite the certification process.

“This year, the ICCR has selected 300 QCI certified yoga teachers to be attached to Indian embassies at 19 missions and consulates, from Mexico to Kula Lumpur and Moscow to Male for four years stint, “said Dr S N Yadav, from International Federation of Yoga Professional (IFYP), an NGO engaged in training youth to qualify for QCI tag across the country.

“We are reaching out to youth in villages and cities to impart yoga training to them as per the QCI norms. This will help them get the QCI certificate and subsequent a suitable job,” Yadav said on the sidelines of an event on Sunday.

Echoing similar views, Sadanand, also from Ayush welcomed CBSE and ICSE Boards decision to make the QCI certificate mandatory for the yoga teachers. “This will ensure uniformity as well as increase job opportunities.”

However, he opined that jobs should be provided on the permanent basis so that more and more youth are encouraged to take up yoga skill which ensures not an only job but also a healthy society.