"We will try to give advice as per astrology, we have seen people taking advice from ill-informed people... creating illusions by sitting in alleyways," said Prashant Dolas, the Deputy Director of the government-run Maharshi Patanjali Sanskrit Sansthan or MPSS - the state's nodal agency that promotes Yoga and Sanskrit.
The Bhopal-based institute has prepared the curriculum for these courses and is set to train students who will be certified fortune tellers. The newly introduced one-year diploma programme will cover Astrology, Vaastu and priesthood. It will ensure the availability of these astrologers for at least twice a week from September. The consultation fee will be Rs 5.
The institute has a budget of Rs 23 lakhs, the courses have been approved by the institute's Vidya Parishad, which is responsible for designing curriculum and conducting exams for the institute.
The opposition Congress ridiculed the move. Jitu Patwari, legislator and party secretary, said, "In a state where farmers are unhappy, you want to tell the future in five rupees? BJP plays with people's emotions, this is hidden agenda...this is not how a government works."