UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – Khelo India-National Programme for Development of Sports
Aimed at mainstreaming sports as a tool for national development, economic development, community development and individual development, the Union Cabinet approved the implementation of revamped ‘Khelo India’ programme by merging ‘Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan’ (erstwhile ‘Yuva Krida & Khel Abhiyan’), ‘Urban Sports Infrastructure Scheme’ and National Sports Talent Search System Programme’. The programme strives to promote “Sports for Excellence” as well as “Sports for All”.
- It will be a Central Sector Scheme (Scheme implemented by the Central Government machinery and 100% funding by the union government).
- It is a Pan India Sports Scholarship scheme covering the 1000 most deserving and talented athletes across the sports discipline, every year.
- Selected athletes will be entitled to a scholarship amount of Five Lakh Rupees for eight consecutive years.
- It is an unprecedented scheme, a first-ever plan to be implemented for creating a long term development pathway for athletes.
- To enable the sportsman pursue both studies and sports, the program aims at identifying and promoting 20 Universities in the country as hubs of sporting excellence.
- For sports promotion, latest user friendly technology would be used. Ex: Geographic Information System (GIS) for locating the sports infrastructure, a user friendly website for indigenous sports, a National Sports Talent Search Portal and information dissemination for the purpose of sports training through mobile apps.
- To ensure maximum entries for organized sports competitions, the programme encourages the school and colleges to organize programmes of high standards.
- Creating an active population with healthy lifestyle is also the focus of this programme. For this purpose, a National Physical Fitness Drive is planned where children in the age group of 10-18 will be checked for physical fitness. Further, activities to support their physical fitness will be planned.
- The aim is to impact the whole of sports ecosystem inclusive of sports economy, competition structure, talent identification, coaching and infrastructure.
- The programme plans to engage youth living in deprived and disturbed areas into sporting activities so that they will be mainstreamed into the nation building process and weaned away from disruptive activities.