One of independent India’s most popular leaders, Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned 69 on 17th September. Born in Vadnagar, Modi emerged from a humble background to become the country’s first Prime Minister born after the British Raj in 2014. During his 5.5-year tenure as India’s premier, the government undertook many significant schemes such as Skill India Mission, Make in India, Digital India Mission, and Start-up India amongst others.
Here are 5 major sports schemes launched during the tenure of Narendra Modi:
The launch of the flagship ‘Khelo Games’ in 2017 is a testimony of the government’s efforts to develop sports at the grassroot level. With an allocation of around ₹ 1,756 crores for the year 2018-20, the program intends to provide an annual scholarship of ₹ 5,00,000 each for eight years to 1,000 selected athletes. Moreover, the government also promised to promote 20 universities across India as hubs for sporting excellence.
2Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS)
The flagship program attempts at assisting India’s top athletes and give them a competitive edge in the Olympics. Under the Scheme, the athletes get recommended for financial disbursements, provide world-class training, and a fixed allowance of ₹ 50,000 amongst several other benefits. TOPS witnessed success at the Commonwealth Games, where 47 out of 70 athletes were supported under the Scheme.
3National Sports Development Fund
The Central Government formed the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) to mobilise resources from the Government and non-governmental sources such as the private or corporate sector and non-resident Indians, for the promotion of sports. The scheme aims at attracting funds under CSR activities through a 100% exemption from income tax on all contributions.
4National Sports Education Board (NSEB)
In the first-ever budget of its second term, the government announced a separate National Sports Education Board to expand the scope of the Khelo India scheme. The 2019 budget also saw the Sports and Youth Affairs Ministry get a substantial raise of ₹ 214.2 crores from 2018’s ₹ 2002.72 to ₹ 2216.92 crores in the allocation of funds.
5Fit India Movement
On the eve of the National Sports Day on 29th August, Narendra Modi launched the ‘Fit India’ Movement’. The initiative is aimed at taking the country towards a healthier lifestyle. “Fitness is zero per cent investment with infinite returns,” Modi said at the launch of Fit India Movement. The government also formed a committee, headed by Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju as well as government officials, members of national sports federations, Indian Olympic Association (IOA), private bodies and fitness promoters, to take the movement forward.