The Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Vijay Goel said in the Lok Sabha that a Scheme called “Khelo India – National Programme for Development of Sports” is being implemented by this Ministry as a Central Sector Scheme from the current financial year 2016-17. This Scheme, inter-alia provides for holding of sports competitions in two age groups of (i) under 14 and (ii) under 17 all over India to encourage mass participation of both boys and girls in Sports as well as creation of sports infrastructure, viz., Synthetic Athletic Track, Synthetic Hockey Field, Synthetic Turf Football Ground, Multipurpose hall, Swimming pool, etc. The Scheme caters to the entire country, including tribal areas.
In the written reply he said, the Sports Authority of India (SAI), an autonomous organization under aegis of the Ministry, also implements the following sports promotional schemes:
- National Sports Talent Contest Scheme (NSTC) – for Sub-Junior level trainees
- Army Boys Sports Company Scheme (ABSC) – for Sub-Junior level trainees
iii. SAI Training Centres Scheme (STC) – for Junior level trainees
- Extension Centre of STC /SAG
- Special Area Games Scheme (SAG) – for Junior level trainees
SAI schemes envisage induction of talent from 8-25 years, therefore, the children from 9-14 years are covered under SAI schemes. The majority of the sports persons selected under the above schemes are identified from the rural and backward and tribal area of the country and provided regular training under residential and non residential basis. The Special Area Games Scheme of SAI is, however, implemented to select sports talent mainly from the tribal, rural, coastal and remote backward and hilly areas.
Sports being a state subject, the responsibility to set up sports Centres/ sports academies in the respective states lies with the concerned State government.
However, in order to promote sports on single discipline basis, SAI has introduced National Sports Academy (NSA) scheme with state of the art sports facilities. The scheme is implemented in collaboration with concerned National Sports Federations and possibly through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partners. 10 such Academies in Swimming, Cycling, Athletics (Sprints), Cue Sports and Hockey in Delhi, Athletics (Middle and Long distance) at Bhopal, Athletics (Sprints and Jumps) and Golf at Thiruvananthapuram, Boxing at Rohtak, SAI Gopichand Badminton Academy at Hyderabad have already been established.