Recently commissioned National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Ayog) is a think tank for Indian government. After our poor show in Rio, NITI Ayog came up with a set of recommendations under the report “Let’s Play” to revitalize sports in India. This report talks about the plan to get 50 medals in 2024 Olympics.
India still lacks conducive environment for Indian athletes to grow and compete with the globe. Furthermore, the sports funding in India is erratic.
NITI Ayog’s report suggests short term and long term plans to scale up the sports infrastructure and athlete management.
Short Term plans (4 to 8 years)
Identify 10 sports with a high winning potential, start 4 year targeted and reviewed training and coaching programs. Basically focus on few sports to get quality instead of quantity.
Categorize Indian sportsmen.
- ‘A’ Group: Top 50 International Player in each sport.
- ‘B’ Group: Players Ranking 51 to 150 in International Events
- ‘C’ Group: National, state and district level players
For consistent monetary support, SAI to sign 4 year contracts with players group-wise. Budgeting based on players group and requirement.Hiring world class coaches with grading system.
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Looping investors through marketing of existing leagues like I league, Pro Kabbadi league, Indian badminton league etc. Increasing sponsorship and viewing by roping celebrities for endorsements.
Long Term (8 – 15 years)
Introduce sports curriculum in schools and extending training programs to tribal and coastal region to identify young players from the age of 8. There will be dedicated training programs for coaches. Special Area Games (SAG) has been initiated under the Sports Authority of India, which covers 26 disciplines. Currently, there are 19 SAG’s with 1676 players (12-18 years).
National Sports code and bill 2013 to be passed to scale up sports infra. New training centers and facilities for SAI, injury insurance for players and age limit for sport administrators. Build and maintain Digital Database for sports and generating revenue methods for team leagues. Hosting more international events to promote culture of sports in India.
NITI Ayog’s Report Summary
- Catch them young. (eg. A 12 year old Indian golf Prodigy)
- Make Indian sports cash rich.
- Figuring out whom to give and how much to give.
- Better Infra and training.
- Future security through new policies.
“We are a large and diverse nation. Sports can be a great means of national integration,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on NITI Aayog’s website.