Government aims high in bid to make India a sporting nation

From grooming 1,000 athletes for the 2028 Olympics to making sports compulsory at schools and hosting major international events, these are some of the key points that feature in an action taken report on the recommendations of a group of secretaries recently

Written by Mihir Vasavda , Amitav Ranjan | Updated: July 14, 2017 11:57 am
2028 Olympic Games, India's performance in atheletics, Commonwealth games, Asian games, India's preparation for 2028 Olympics, sports news Cambiasso with U-17 WC mascot Kheleo.

Top 10 at 2028 Olympics

Proposed deadline: December 2018 (original: May 2017)  

An ambitious claim but the ministry insists they have begun the process to establish a ‘world-class system’ to produce a top 10 performance at the 2028 Games. Emphasis is on sports science, sports medicine and highly-qualified sports staff. The ministry claims there will be ‘incremental improvement’ from 2018 and system will mature by 2020.

Job reservation 

Proposed deadline: May 2018  

At present, there is optional job reservation of up to five percent in the public sector for sportspersons. The ministry has proposed there should be at least three percent mandatory reservation for athletes. The ministry is also exploring the possibility of providing cashless medical cover to eminent sportspersons who have retired.

Hosting national, international tournaments

Proposed deadline: March 2018 

The ministry has shown interest in bringing the Olympics and Asian Games to India. It has actively promoting the under-17 World Cup. Himalayan Games will beheld in November, as well. To make sports a source of ‘sustainable livelihood’, the ministry wants to conduct more events. Domestically, they have pledged to conduct the National School Games in January 2018.

10 sports, 1,000 athletes

Proposed deadline: September 2017 (original May 2017)

Ten sports, 1,000 athletes and financial support of Rs 5 lakh per athlete for eight years. That’s the ministry’s plan to prepare for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics. The athletes will be identified and shortlisted by a committee of experts through various avenues, including an online portal.The money will not be directly transferred to the athletes but will be used for their development.

“The long-term development programme will also have suitable weeding out components to ensure that only the best talents are supported with a view to prepare them for the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games,” the ministry note reads. Up to 15 disciplines will be identified for the Commonwealth and Asian Games whereas for the Olympics, focus will be on four to six sports where the chances to win medals are brighter.

Yoga and sports compulsory at schools

Proposed deadline: March 2018 

Sport is likely to be integrated as a part of school curriculum. A proposal has been sent to the Department of School Education and Literacy. “Evolving the curriculum framework will involve stakeholder consultations, content development, teaching methodology, pedagogy, etc and will be ready by March 2018,” ministry said.

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