UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – Khelo India-National Programme for Development of Sports
Government schemes are an important segment of the polity and governance section of the UPSC syllabus. Aimed at mainstreaming sports as a tool for national development, economic development, community development and individual development, the Union Cabinet approved the execution of revamped ‘Khelo India’ programme by consolidating the ‘Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan’ (formerly called the ‘Yuva Krida & Khel Abhiyan’), the ‘Urban Sports Infrastructure Scheme’ and the 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 to pursue both studies and sports, the program aims at identifying and promoting 20 Universities in the country as centres of sporting distinction.
- 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.
- Forming an active population with a healthy lifestyle is also the focus of this programme. For this purpose, a National Physical Fitness Drive is planned where children falling in the age bracket 10-18 years 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 process of nation-building and weaned away from disruptive activities.