09/06/2016 11:31 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST

India Has Not Claimed Intellectual Property Rights On Yoga, Modi Tells US Lawmakers

Adnan Abidi / Reuters
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi performs yoga with others to mark the International Day of Yoga, in New Delhi, India, June 21, 2015. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

WASHINGTON -- Observing that there are over 30 million practitioners of Yoga in America, Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday told members of the US Congress that India has not yet claimed IPR on Yoga.

"SIRI tells us that India's ancient heritage of Yoga has over 30 million practitioners in the US. It is estimated that more Americans bend for yoga than to throw a curve ball.

"And, no Mr Speaker (Paul Ryan), we have not yet claimed intellectual property rights on Yoga," Modi said in his address to the joint session of the Congress.

SIRI is an iPhone programme that serves as an intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator, using sequential inference and contextual awareness to help perform personal tasks and answer questions.

"Connecting our two nations is also a unique and dynamic bridge of three million Indian-Americans," Modi said underscoring that the people to people links are strong and there is close cultural connect between the two societies.

"Today, they are among your best CEOs; academics; astronauts; scientists; economists; doctors; even spelling bee champions. They are your strength. They are also the pride of India. They symbolise the best of both our societies," he said.

In the course of his 45-minute speech, Modi covered all major aspects of the growing relationship between India and the US, particularly strategic ties and civil nuclear cooperation, and emphasised that the two countries should leave "constraints of the past" behind as the "foundations of the future are firmly in place".

In 2014, the UN General Assembly recognised 21 June as the International Yoga Day after 177 member states supported the draft moved by India.

The first International Day of Yoga was observed world over on 21 June, 2015.