Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appointed a yoga minister in a major revamp of his government after storming to power in May, in a bid to promote the ancient practice.
Yoga-loving Modi beefed up his right-wing government on Sunday by appointing 21 new ministers, with the aim of speeding up reforms to revive the faltering economy.
Among the portfolios designated late Sunday was that of AAYUSH, whose minister will be charged with promoting the traditional medicines and practices of Ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and homeopathy.
Hindu nationalist Modi, a vegetarian who practises yoga daily, asked the United Nations in September to consider an international yoga day.
During his visit to the United States, Modi also discussed the ancient Indian discipline with President Barack Obama during their dinner at the White House.
“Congratulations to all colleagues who have taken oath today. Looking forward to working with them to accelerate India’s development journey,” Modi said in a tweet late Sunday.
Modi added four new ministers to his cabinet, and 17 junior ministers for a 66-member strong government including the premier.
Aayush was previously part of the health minister’s responsibility, but has become a separate portfolio after Sunday’s reshuffle, with former tourism minister Shripad Yesso Naik taking charge.
Among other changes, suave regional leader Manohar Parrikar was handed the defence ministry charged with modernising the country’s ageing armed forces. Continue reading >>