India planning ‘yoga’ visa

The government is planning to introduce a new category of visa to promote yoga, to help make India the world destination for yoga enthusiasts, a senior government official said. Currently, there are 18 types of visas which include diplomatic, mountaineering, employment, tourist, medical, student, research and conference, among others.

The government is planning a ‘yoga’ visa ahead of the 2{+n}{+d}International Day of Yoga on June 21.

On India’s request, the United Nations had designated June 21 as the International Day of Yoga in 2014. The announcement came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at the U.N. General Assembly the same year. Last year, the government accorded special status to yoga by categorising its promotion as a charitable activity, giving its promoters tax exemption benefits.

“Since the U.N. has also designated a day for yoga, we decided that we should promote it. To attract people to India, we are planning to create a special type of visa,” said an official.