The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has the mandate of developing sports facilities and encouraging sporting talent in India .  The Ministry is broadly responsible for creating infrastructure and capacity-building to enable international competitiveness.  It has two departments: (i) the Department of Youth Affairs and (ii) the Department of Sports.

This note presents the trends in expenditure, and discusses some of the issues related to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

Overview of finances

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has been allocated Rs 2,196 crore in 2018-19 (see Table 1).  This is a 13% increase over the revised estimates of 2017-18 (Rs 1,938 crore). 

Table 1: Budget allocations for the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (in Rs crore)


Actual 2016-17

RE 2017-18




% change (BE over RE)

Khelo India





Sports Authority of India





Assistance to National Sports Federations





Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan





Rashtriya Yuva Sashaktikaran Karyakaram















Note: BE – Budget Estimate; RE – Revised Estimates. 

Sources: Demand No. 100, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Union Budget 2018-19, PRS.

  • Khelo India and the autonomous bodies (Sports Authority of India and National Sports Federations) under the Ministry have received the highest allocations. These fall under the Department of Sports.  Together, 62% of the Ministry’s allocations have gone to Khelo India, Sports Authority of India, and National Sports Federations (see Figure 1).  However, Sports Authority of India has seen a 13% decrease from the revised estimate of 2017-18 at Rs 430 crore. 

Figure 1: Major expenditure allocations under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (2018-19) (in %)

Source:  Expenditure Budget Vol- II, Union Budget 2018-19; PRS.

  • Khelo India programme aims to: (i) identify and nurture sporting talent, (ii) encourage mass participation of youth in annual sports competitions, and (iii) create of sports infrastructure.
  • National Sports Federations (NSFs) are autonomous bodies registered under Companies or Societies Acts. They promote and develop sports disciplines in the country, for which they are recognised by the concerned international federation.  Currently, there are 54 NSFs in India. 
  • The Sports Authority of India (SAI) is the nodal agency at the national level to promote excellence in sports. Additionally, SAI provides support to NSFs for identification, training, and coaching of sportspersons, and setting up infrastructure.
  • Under the Department of Youth Affairs, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan and the Rashtriya Yuva Sashaktikaran Karyakaram have received the highest allocation at Rs 255 crore and Rs 153 crore respectively in 2018-19.

Issues with financial allocation

In terms of budgetary allocations to the Ministry, the Standing Committee on Human Resource Development (2016-17) noted that the allocations have been much lower than the projected demand, year after year. [1],[2],[3]  For example, in 2016-17, the projected demand for Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan was Rs 864 crore. Against this demand, the allocated budget estimate in 2016-17 was Rs 205 crore.  Further, such allocations have been reduced at the revised estimates stage.  For example, the Ministry of Finance reduced the allocation for the Department of Youth Affairs from Rs 596 crore at the budget estimate stage in 2016-17 stage to Rs 530 crore at revised estimate stage in 2016-17.[4]  

Figure 2: Allocation to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (2007-17) (in Rs crore)

Note: Revised estimates have been used for 2017-18 and budget estimates for 2018-19.

Sources: Union Budgets, 2008-18; PRS.

Despite lower allocations in comparison to the projected demand, the utilisation of funds in terms of actual expenditure has been consistently high, year after year.3  For example, in the past three years, the utilisation has been over 90%, even touching 100% in 2017-18 (see Table 2).  However, in 2014-15, the utilisation was just over 60%.  The actual allocations and the year on year percentage change in such allocations is given in Figure 2.  The percentage change in the actual allocation has been fluctuating between 10% to 30% in the last three years. 

Table 2:  Comparison of budget estimates and the actual expenditure (2007-17) (in Rs crore)

















































Note: B.E.: Budget Estimates; *Revised Estimate.

Sources: Union Budgets, 2015-18; PRS.

The Ministry of Finance has included sports infrastructure in the harmonised master list of infrastructure sub-sectors on September 9, 2016.[5]  This list consists of five core sectors: (i) transport, (ii) energy, (iii) water and sanitation, (iv) communication, and (v) social and commercial infrastructure. Sports has been included as a subsector under social and commercial infrastructure.  This inclusion pertains to provision of sports stadia and infrastructure for academies involved in training and research in sporting activities. 

This status makes the sports sector eligible for obtaining long term financial support from banks and other financial institutions at par with other infrastructure projects. Such parity in financial support is expected to: (i) bolster investment in sports infrastructure, (ii) encourage private investment, (iii) promote health and fitness, and (iv) provide more employment opportunities.

Khelo India as an umbrella programme

Khelo India is an umbrella programme from 2016-17 after the merger of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan, Assistance for Creation of Urban Sports Infrastructure, and the National Sports Talent Search Scheme.[6]  All of the three schemes focus on competitions, talent, and sports infrastructure.  Further, the Union Cabinet approved the revamping of the Khelo India programme in September, 2017.[7]  The programme aims to: (i) identify and nurture sporting talent, (ii) encourage mass participation of youth in annual sports competitions, and (iii) creation of sports infrastructure.  The programme is estimated to cost Rs 1,756 crore for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20.    

In 2016-17, budgetary allocation for Khelo India was Rs 140 crore.  However, this amount was reduced to Rs 118 crore in the revised estimate of 2016-17 on account of slow progress of expenditure for this scheme, which failed to pick up as envisaged.3  For example, in an answer to a question in the Lok Sabha in 2017, the Minister stated that no stadium has been sanctioned to any state under the Khelo India Scheme.[8]  Further, note that as sports is a State List subject, no data is maintained by the central government on the number of sports stadia set up in the country.[9]

National Sports Development Fund (NSDF)

The National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) was established by the central government in 1998 to mobilise governmental and non-governmental resources for the promotion of sports in the country.  All the applications for financial assistance from NSDF are considered and decided by the Executive Committee of NSDF based on the past performance and future potential of the sportspersons in consultation with the SAI and NSFs. Over the past few years, an average of Rs 10-15 crore have been donated or provided by the government, into the NSDF.  In 2014-15, this amount was significantly higher at approximately Rs 45 crore.[10]  Details of the financial contributions to the NSDF from the central government and non-government sources are provided in Table 3 below.

Table 3: Contributions to the NSDF from government and non-government sources (in Rs crore)


Government contribution (Actuals)

Non-government contribution













Source:  Unstarred question no. 1439, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Lok Sabha, March 9, 2017; Union Budgets; PRS.

Issues for consideration

Certain key observations and recommendations regarding the Ministry by the Standing Committee on Human Resource Development include:3,4,[11],[12]  

  • Lack of coordination: There is a lack of coordination between the NSFs and the SAI/the Ministry, as well as NSFs and State Sports Federations (SSFs).11  The Standing Committee also highlighted a need for increased cooperation of the Ministry with other ministries such as Human Resource Development, Women and Child Development, and Panchayati Raj for the development of sports.
  • Fulfilling the mandate of schemes: The mandate of NSFs, and the major schemes being implemented by the Ministry, is broadly the same.  The only departure is the fact that NSFs deal with specific sports disciplines.  The Standing Committee stated that the NSFs and SSFs should be directly involved in all schemes in their respective capacities of their relevant sports discipline.11
  • Functioning of NSFs: It has been noted that the composition of most NSFs is mostly dominated by non-sportspersons.11  The Committee recommended constituting an independent Election Commission and ensuring adequate representation sportspersons and other sports experts.  This would also address issues of mis-governance, mal-administration, among others.

Currently, there is no grievance redressal mechanism in most NSFs.  The Committee recommended establishing a multi-layered mechanism for the same at national and state levels.11  It also suggested assigning the role of final authority to a sports tribunal.

The NSFs are receiving inadequate funds from the government and therefore, trying to manage more funds from other sources.  In this context, it has been recommended that if the government is not in a position to take care of all the funding requirements, private participation should be encouraged.11  Further, the Committee observed that there are still some erring NSFs which are not complying with the government's guidelines.

  • Teacher training and vacancies: The Lakshmibai University of Physical Education is the national apex institution for physical education teachers training, national fitness plan and physical education school curriculum.  With respect to this University, the Standing Committee noted the lapse of approved financial outlay and delay in execution of approved projects.4  It recommended that efforts should be made for improving the quality of academic level of the University and strengthening the training skills and administrative support to the students.

The National Sports University Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha in August, 2017 and is pending in Parliament.[13]  The Standing Committee on Human Resource Development has submitted its report on the Bill.  The Bill establishes a National Sports University located in Manipur.  It will promote sports education in the areas of: (i) sports sciences, (ii) sports technology, (iii) sports management, and (iv) sports coaching.  It will function as a national training centre for select sports disciplines.  It may also establish campuses and study centres in other parts of the country.  The University will be empowered to grant degrees, diplomas and certificates.

  • The Committee further observed that the major constraint in the achievement of desired result by Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) is shortage of staff. For example, the total sanctioned strength of NYKS is of 2,273 posts, of which 861 posts are vacant.4
  • Even under the Sports Authority of India, shortage of coaches and more than 37% vacancies exist. The mode and pace of recruitment is not satisfactory and needs major improvement and should not be addressed through contract basis appointments.4
  • NSDF and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): There exists a confusion among the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) regarding NSDF and CSR.12  CSR comes under the Companies Act, 2013 while NSDF comes under the Charitable Endowments Act, 1890.  Hence, contribution under CSR cannot be equated to endowments to NSDF.  The Standing Committee recommended that the Department of Sports must educate the PSUs about this difference.

Further, the Committee recommended setting up a Council of NSDF, to manage the Fund.  The Council would be represented by different stakeholders like sportspersons, administrators, amongst others.  Additionally, it also recommended reaching out to all the possible donors who have the capacity to contribute. The NSDF should not merely be confined to the public sector companies or banks but also reach out to the corporate sector.    

  • Collaboration with banks: The Standing Committee recommended that SAI should take pro-active steps to improve infrastructures/coaching facilities in rural areas.12  It recommended that banks should be involved for talent hunt at the grassroots.  It also recommended that banks and financial institutes (including the private sector) should be encouraged to formulate a specific Sports Policy at their own level.
  • Youth hostel management: Encroachment of youth hostels by state government departments and their use for non-designated purposes has been observed.4  Further, meetings of Hostel Management Committee are not being held regularly, thereby adversely affecting smooth running of Youth Hostels.  In this context, the Committee recommended that the Ministry must initiate appropriate measures to get all Youth Hostels vacated from the unauthorised occupants.  All requisite steps should be taken by to regularise the meetings of the Hostel Management Committee.


[1] Outcome Budget 2013-14, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports,

[2] Outcome Budget 2014-15, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports,

[3] “Report no.277: Demands for Grants 2016-17 (Demand No. 98) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports”, Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, April 27, 2016,

[4] “Report no. 287:  Demands for Grants 2017-18 (Demand No. 100) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports”, Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, March 21, 2017,

[5] No. 13/6/2009- Notification, Ministry of Finance, the Gazette of India, September 9, 2016,

[6] “Annual Report 2015-16”, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports,

[7] “Cabinet approves Revamped Khelo India Programme”, Press Information Bureau, Cabinet, September 20, 2017.  

[8] Unstarred Question No.1141, December 21, 2017, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports,

[9] Unstarred Question No. 5034, Lok Sabha, December 23, 2014,

[10] Unstarred Question No. 1570, Lok Sabha, December 2, 2014,

[11] “Report no.262: The Functioning of National Sports Federations”, Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, February 20, 2014,

[12] “Report no.281: Performance of National Sports Development Fund And Recruitment and Promotion of Sportspersons (Part-III)”, Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, Rajya Sabha, August 9, 2016,

[13] The National Sports University Bill, 2017,,%202017/National%20sports%20university%20bill,%202017.pdf.


DISCLAIMER: This document is being furnished to you for your information.  You may choose to reproduce or redistribute this report for non-commercial purposes in part or in full to any other person with due acknowledgement of PRS Legislative Research (“PRS”).  The opinions expressed herein are entirely those of the author(s).  PRS makes every effort to use reliable and comprehensive information, but PRS does not represent that the contents of the report are accurate or complete.  PRS is an independent, not-for-profit group.  This document has been prepared without regard to the objectives or opinions of those who may receive it.