"In a way, the answer to non-communicable diseases like hypertension, cancer and diabetes is yoga. If we see the preventive part, this (yoga) has very important role to play," he said.

Noting that the burden of non-communicable diseases was very high presently, the Minister said that his ministry has made it must for All India Institute of Medical Sciences to have a yoga centre.

He said it has also been made a must for any new hospital to have a yoga centre in its Ayush centre.

He said his government has given yoga much importance in the new health policy, adding, "Yoga and Indian system of medicine is very integral part of it."

Speaking at a seminar on the "The Iyengar way - Yoga for the New Millennium", Nadda said that the government is making efforts as to how yoga can be connected to syllabus, strengthen scientific documentations and develop its research.

He rued that the situation of yoga presently is such that "where from it started, it is least known there only" and this was a challenge which has to be accepted.

He said that it was through the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that June 22 was acknowledged as international day for yoga and one should take advantage of this opportunity on how to make it more meaningful and how India can take a lead in it.

Noting that there was apathy towards yoga in medical sciences earlier as scientists used to question its scientific base, he said a shift from that position has happened now.     

"We have travelled a long path from apathy to sympathy to now thinking it as a part of life. Now doctors and surgeons respect, recognize and practice themselves as well as advocate yoga. This is the shift that has happened now," he said.

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