The Department of Science and Technology has invited proposals to study appropriate intervention of yoga and meditation in fighting COVID-19 and similar kinds of viruses.
Teams of scientists, clinicians and experienced practitioners of yoga and meditation who have a proven track record in the field of yoga and meditation research are being encouraged to submit concept notes on the proposal.
The proposals have been invited under the Science and Technology of Yoga and Meditation (SATYAM) program of the DST, a department under the Ministry of Science and Technology.
According to the Call for Proposals' uploaded on the Department of Science and Technology's website, concept note should cover aims and objectives of proposed work, existing literature, methodology, expected outcome, budget requirement and details of host institutions along with detailed biodata of the principal investigator with latest publications included in scientific journal databases.
It states that the project may address improving immunity, improving respiratory system and interventions to overcome respiratory disorders and other dimensions like stress, anxiety and depression-related issues due to isolation, uncertainty, and disruption in normal life.
"The aim of this special call is to provide assistance to our society in today's critical condition arising due to pandemic COVID-19. Since this is a need-based call, therefore, proposed work should be completed within 6-12 months, it said.
Elaborating on the concept, DST Secretary Ashutosh Sharma said that SATYAM is a cognitive science program.
COVID-19 usually has three dimensions -- related to stress (worry, sitting at home), respiratory and the immune system.
But this (how can yoga and meditation) has to be scientifically investigated. Sometimes, there is an empirical co-relation in something you do and something you see as an outcome, but you have to understand that scientifically, he said.
He added clinicians, scientists and practitioners are expected to work together and make use of modern tools of life science and bio-sciences to understand if something works and if something does not. "If it works, what is the efficacy and in what conditions does it work," he added.