Talented young sports person would now get government assistance to horn their skills to compete in the international events including Olympics and win laurels for the country.
The first fillip in this direction came from the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday which asked the Sports Ministry to launch talent hunt across India to scout for young sportsperson who can be trained to eventually increase India’s medal tally by 2020.
Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Pulak Chatterjee reportedly told sports ministry officials to execute a plan in specific time-frames to spot the talent at ground level and provide them national and international exposure to them. This is in line with a blue-print prepared by the PMO to make India a recognisable force in sports.
The PMO has also asked the sports ministry to hold competitions at district, state and national levels to spot talent and ensure that those selected gets financial
assistance from the government in form of a scholarship or free education plus sports training.
The Sports ministry has initiated a plan to admit the talented young sportsperson identified by talent scouts under Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan in specialized sports training schools with Kendriya Vidalaya level normal education in each of the 640 districts in the country.
In around 272 districts backward and naxal affected districts the government plans to provide 75 % of the total cost for building these schools. The remaining money would have to be provided by the state governments. In other areas, the ministry wants to start the schools in partnership with private players in the area of promoting sports such as Mittal Foundation.
Apart from the schools, the government also wants to upgrade 24 centers of Sports Authority of India into centers of excellence to provide specialized training to them.
“We have already prepared a work plan to make sports integral part school curriculum and a career option,” a senior government official said, adding that paramilitary forces and Army would be asked to hire sportsperson as a policy.
The plan is being executed with an eye on 2016 Rio Olympics but the officials believe that its real dividends would be visible by 2020 Olympics.