Aiming to create a “sporting environment” in Gujarat with special focus on Olympics sports, the state government Wednesday announced its first Sports Policy. The policy introduced a special quota for meritorious sportspersons in the Group C recruitment in the state. Also, it promised Class I jobs in the state government for those winning a medal at the Olypmics or a gold medal in the Asian Games.
Announcing the policy, Sports, Youth and Cultural activities Minister Nanubhai Vanani said he was not not satisfied with the sporting scenario in the state. “Ten years ago, the scenario was very bad. Then, we started Khel Mahakumbh and we have improved. But, we are still not satisfied and therefore, we have come out with this Sports Policy,” Vanani said.
Secretary of Sports, Youth and Cultural Activities Department Manish Bhardwaj said the Policy was a step towards improving the sporting environment in Gujarat.
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The policy document said, “The biggest worry for the parents and the sportspersons pursuing a career in sports is job security. The government will ensure that high performance athletes are given jobs so that they can concentrate on sports.”
Accordingly, Class I jobs will be offered to Olympic medal winners and Asian Games Gold medalists. Whereas, Class II jobs will be offered to the silver and bronze medalists in Asian Games. Introducing sports quota in government jobs, the policy announced 2 per cent reservation in Group C recruitment for meritorious sportspersons in the state. Also, two per cent of the total seats in the colleges, including professional courses, would be reserved for meritorious
Under the policy, winners at national and international sporting events (Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, Commonwealth Asian Championship for Seniors and Commonwealth Asian Championship for Juniors) would be given cash prizes ranging between Rs 1 lakh crore and Rs 5 crore. Maximum cash prize of Rs 5 crore would be given to a sportsperson for winning a gold at the Olympics, while a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh would be given to a sportsperson getting a bronze medal at the National Games.
The policy promised financial assistance of up to Rs 25 lakh annually to top athletes for training, sports equipment and travel under the Shaktidoot Scheme to represent India at International sports events. The Shaktidoot Scheme would be revamped to achieve listed goals in the policy, it added. Special focus has been given to revive sporting culture in the rural and the urban areas of the state. It said, “The present education system will be modified to meet the above (broad basing sports and achieving excellence) objectives. Sports will be offered as a subject and emphasis will be on sports rather than other compulsory subjects.”
Vanani said that special measures would be taken in collaboration with local institutes of self-governance like municipal corporations, municipalities and gram panchayats to ensure that students have playgrounds in vicinity of their schools.
It has also been promised in the policy that the government would start a special Gujarat Police Sports Unit on the lines of Army Sports Institute.
In the field of sports education and coaching, Bhardwaj said that the Swarnim Gujarat Sports University had been established and it had already been granted land in Vadodara district by the Revenue Department. The university, he added, would promote sports development with scientific support by building world-class research centre.