Hospitals or medical education is not required to remain healthy, said Satyapal Singh, union junior minister for HDR for higher education.
The minister was responding to a public request for a medical college in Central University of Kerala (CUK) made by P Karunakaran MP during a function to lay the foundation stones for the buildings for the Department of Yoga Studies, and Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching, School of Education, inside the CUK campus in Periya.
“Our forefathers used to be very healthy. There was no hospitals. We must teach our children the basic tenets and fundamentals of how to remain healthy. What kind of diet and food we should take. Every day we must exercise, depending on our age and requirement,” said Singh, who had earlier rejected the theory of evolution.
The minister said anyone could do yoga because it was irreligious. “A comrade can do it, a Muslim can do it, a Hindu can do it. It is spiritual,” he said.
He, however, said that he would “remind the union health minister that Kasargod requires a medical college”, to a round of applause from the audience. “But it may take some time. During that interval, you do yoga and stay healthy. Karo Yog, Raho Nirog,” he said, to a dumbstruck audience.
Hinting that the proposed medical college in CUK may remain a pipedream for now, the minister said that setting up medical college in remote areas such as Kasargod is the “basic responsibility” of the state government. “If the state government is so conscious that there must be medical facilities in this area, it should come forward and the central government will also help,” he said.
He said it was unfortunate that universities still teach only foreign theories, and Indian theories are not in the curriculum. “We do not want such education,” he said. The minister also took exception to Karunakaran’s request to allow CUK to offer distance education. The MP said as per the new rule of the UGC, only universities accredited with A+ and A++ could offer distance education.
“By that standards, no university in Kerala can offer distance education and make education inaccessible to thousands of students,” Karunakaran said, and sought the minister’s intervention to lower the bar to allow CUK, graded B+ by NAAC, to offer distant education. Replying to that, Singh said: “On the one hand we have the challenge to improve the standards, and on the other there is a demand to lower the standards so that this university also qualifies to offer distance education.”
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