Govt. To set up of 25 Centres of Excellence

Updated: May 24, 2013, 16:40 PM IST

New Delhi: Sports Minister Jitendra Singh said on Friday that the government would set up 25 Centres of Excellence with an aim to make India a front-ranked sporting country by 2014.

Speaking at the conference of Sports Ministers and Secretaries of States/UTs, Jitendra said he dreamed of an India in which sports is a way of life and "a lucrative career option".

"Sports Authority of India will set up 25 Centres of Excellence or COX across the country. Each COX will specialise in 3 to 4 sports disciplines. The government of India will also set up one Centre of Excellence each of sports medicine and sports coaching," he said.

Jitendra said that his aim was to see India among the first 10 sporting nations in the world by 2020 and among top five by 2024.

He also said that the PYKKA programme will be revamped under which sports complexes will be built at the block level across the country.

"My Ministry is working towards revamping PYKKA. The big difference in the revised PYKKA will be at block level. The central government will give states the funds to create a full sports complex. There will be football grounds, athletic tracks, courts for volleyball, basketball, badminton, kho-kho, kabaddi etc," said Jitendra.

"Each complex will have an indoor hall for contact sports and some other popular sports of the region. Each such complex will cost Rs. 1.75 crore. The fund will come out of PYKKA, the Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF), the Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR), the Integrated Area Plan (IAP) and MG-NREGA," he said, adding that "close to 6500 such complexes will be built across the country, which will cost 11,000 crores," he added.

Jitendra also informed that the government was working on a scheme called Identification and Nurturing Sports Talent.

"In the proposed scheme, in each district, a special school meant for young people who have shown talent in sports is proposed to be set up. 100 talented young boys and girls in the age group of 6-10 years selected through the PYKKA competitions will be offered admission to the District Sports Schools," he explained.

"All their boarding, lodging, special diet, sports kit, school fees and other expenses will be met through a stipend. Each of the children who are admitted to the schools will be guaranteed a job under the sports quota of the Central Government or the State Government.

"Besides a new programme of sports scholarships under which up to 10 scholarships will be offered every year will be announced soon. Under the programme, the scholars can go to any reputed institute in the world and all their education and living expenses will be borne by Government of India," Jitendra said.

He reiterated the need for bringing in transparency in the functioning and promoting good governance amongst the sports bodies at state level and district level.

"The state governments need to issue such instructions immediately. 53 out of 54 National Sports Federations have agreed in writing to amend their constitution to incorporate the provisions of Sports Code. A Working Group has also been constituted under the chairmanship of Justice (Retd) Mukul Mudgal for re-drafting of the National Sports Development Bill 2013 by June 30," said Jitendra.