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Nurturing Young Sports Talent in India

By Lisa

As India has been engulfed in the World Cup T20 fever it must be noted that there are numerous other sports that are being played in India. Also there is a huge scope to have excellent sports persons for so many other sports who can bring medals for the country.

Keeping in mind this the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is implementing one Centrally Sponsored Scheme for development of sports. The Scheme is called the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan.


This Scheme provides for construction of an integrated sports complex in each block of the country both for outdoor and indoor sports disciplines and also provides for grant-in-aid for holding competitions at block, district, state and national levels.

In addition the Sports Authority of India (SAI), an autonomous body under the aegis of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, implements the following sports promotional schemes all over the country in order to identify young sports talent in the age group ranging from 8-25 years and to nurture them to excel at National and International competitions:

1. National Sports Talent Contest (NSTC)

2. Army Boys Sports Company (ABSC)

3. SAI Training Centre (STC)

4. Special Area Games (SAG)

5. Extension Centres of STC/SAG

6. Centre of Excellence (COE)

7. SAI National Sports Academies

The RGKA Scheme provided for funding of infrastructure component through convergence of various schemes implemented by Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Ministry of Development of North East Region, and erstwhile Planning Commission.

However, no funds could be obtained towards infrastructure due to non-convergence of various schemes by the concerned Ministries.

Accordingly, the Government of India, after consultation with the State Governments and Sports Authority of India (SAI), etc., has decided to restructure and merge a number of Centrally Sponsored Schemes, including the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of RGKA, into one Central Sector Scheme to address talent search, grooming of talent and provision of infrastructure to ensure its effective implementation.

Funds for training of sportspersons:

Promotion and development of sports disciplines is mainly the responsibility of the State Governments and the concerned National Sports Federations (NSFs). Union Government supplements the efforts of the State Governments and NSFs by providing financial assistance to them under its various schemes of sports promotion. During the last three years, the Department of Sports assessed the requirement for its various schemes as Rs. 4,748 crores. Funds actually made available to the Department was Rs. 2,114 crores.

Tie up of SAI for setting up of CRPF Sports Company:

The Government of India through Sports Authority of India (SAI) has approved establishment of a Boys Sports Company to be run by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) at Padma, Hazaribagh (Jharkhand).

One time issue of training kit or aid, in the shape of Audio-Video equipments, special training equipment like multi-gym, wrestling mat, training films, etc. upto a maximum of Rs. 1.00 lakh will be made available.

CRPF authorities have been requested to identify sports disciplines for Boys Sports Company to be set up at Padma, Hazaribagh. Cadets from the State of Jharkhand and adjoining States will be inducted in the proposed Boys Sports Company. Selection of Cadets will be carried out as per selection criteria fixed by Sports Authority of India.

The candidates picked will be in the age group of 8 to 14 years. A unique identity card (UID) number may be allotted to each trainee for the purpose of issue of UID Card and for maintaining data on computer.

Training diary of each individual trainee will be maintained, which will be taken into consideration at the time of retention and weeding out process.

Pre-condition for Admission:

The admission is to be made based on the performance indicators, anthropometric measurement, physiological and psychological tests and depending on age, discipline, event and evaluation of future potential, battery of test result etc. are to be documented at the time of induction.

Retention Criteria:

Retention of the inmate will be based on his or her maintaining the minimum level of performance on the basis of which the inmate was admitted and also achieving the target set for the year.

Weeding out:

The candidates will be weeded out for not maintaining the expected level of performance and / or dope abuse, age fraud or misconduct.

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