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Sports play a multi-dimensional role in society. It is also an essential component of the socioeconomic development of a country. Effective engagement in sports curtails medical expenses, intensifies community health and productivity, imbibes discipline in character, and enhances social activeness. The government has been playing a crucial role in the promotion of sports in India. Under Khelo India and many such schemes, Indian games are given the priority to perform and participate actively. The role of sports in societal development is also considered significant.
Sports in India
Sports in India are under the government and governmental organizations. So, government plays an important role in sports promotion and support. It is responsible for making sports policies, giving permissions for new infrastructure programs, and planning specific projects for the advancement of sports. Sports minister of India, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur has also launched Khelo India’s new dashboard in Delhi, which stores all the statistical data related to Khelo India Scheme and Khelo India events. Under this program, people will not only get information regarding the Khelo India Scheme but also help access information regarding the development of sports infrastructure, Fit India, and development in playfields. This is a great initiative to represent India at the Olympics.
There is no official National sport in India. However, Hockey is sometimes believed as the national sport of India because of its success and fame.
Government Schemes for sports development
National Sports Talent Contest Scheme (NSTC)
It has been developed for talent identification of children from the age group 8-12 years and nourishment of identified sports persons. Its focus is to provide children with scientific facilities at the school level and train them to present India at international levels. At present, there are several schools and Akharas under this scheme.
SAI Training Centers Schemes (STC)
This was implemented to groom sportspersons in the age group 14-21 years, in 2012 it was revived by 12-18 years. Its main objective was to collaborate with the central government and State governments to work together for better sports development. These training centers are established in a state, where the state has the responsibility to provide infrastructure.
Special Area Games Schemes (SAG)
The plan’s primary goal is to prepare meritorious sportspersons in the age group 12-18 years. It aims at exploring natural talent for modern competitive sports. It also explores games from distant tribal, rural, and coastal areas of the nation and supports them scientifically for accomplishing excellence in sports in India. This plan visualizes tapping ability from native games, and martial arts and also from regions/communities which are either genetically or geologically advantageous for excellence in a specific sport.
Centre of Excellence Scheme
They work as customary training camps for the ideal talent and give simultaneous layers of skilled sportspersons, giving a more extensive decision of ability and continuity for selection to National teams. Those trainees who keep on performing to the desired level at national and international levels keep on being covered under the plan with age relaxation in deserving cases. Employee trainees are also provided with the same facilities as those given to other trainees. They help prepare sportspersons for the Olympics and Paralympics.
Fit India Movement
Respectable PM Shri Narendra Modi initiated this movement on 29th August 2019. This movement likely impacts individuals’ ways of behaving and urges them to carry up more physically active lifestyles, to promote fitness as basic, pleasant, and cost-free. The fit India Movement seeks to spread a wellness and sports culture throughout the country. It motivates individuals to give fitness a high- priority in their daily life.
The ‘Khel Mahakumbh’ in Gujarat highlights participation in 27 different schools and institutions from all over the country. The Khelo India program was presented by the Indian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. This was implemented to prepare the competitors and their coaches as a part of Khelo India to ameliorate their performance on the World stage (Olympics). This initiative intends to propel individual, social, and economic growth and the country’s headway.
Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS)
It aims to find, develop and prepare future medal competitors for the Olympics and Paralympics. Under TOPS Indian men’s and women’s hockey team was also given an allowance for their betterment and smooth functioning. It has also helped the team to perform in the Indian hockey Olympics. Also in this program, competitors and sports persons get proper and specialized guidance from renowned coaches. A similar initiative Junior TOPS, which targets kids as young as 10-12 years of age and aims to expect them as Olympic heroes in 2028, was also introduced by the government in 2020.
Mission Olympic 2024
To help India in winning 50 medals in the 2024 summer Olympics, Niti Aayog has fostered a short and medium-term action plan. Under this scheme, six new foreign coaches are supposed to help India’s Olympic preparations. It intends to expand the capability of nearby and native games by picking top-level mentors and carrying out a coach-reviewing framework.
Scheme of Sports & games for the Divyangs
It was introduced by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. It aims to encourage and motivate broad- basing participative sports among disabled people. The Committee of Paralympics in India also helps strengthen athletes to participate and win. Their participation at national and international levels is funded by the Paralympic Committee of India, Special Olympic Bharat, and the All-India Sports Council for the deaf. They provide training, equipment, and other support including trainers and other supporting staff.
Therefore, the role of the government is extremely important in providing participation opportunities to Indian youth for the overall development of sports. All these schemes are designed by the government of India to ameliorate sports like hockey, football, basketball, and athletics at the international level. So, the government has been playing a crucial role in the promotion of sports in India.