The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has the mandate of developing sports facilities and encouraging sporting talent in India.  The Ministry is responsible for creating infrastructure and capacity to enable international competitiveness.

It has two departments: (i) the Department of Youth Affairs and (ii) the Department of Sports. The Department of Youth Affairs manages the National Service Scheme, Rashtriya Yuva Sashaktikaran Karyakram and Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development.  The Department of Sports manages the Sports Authority of India, Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education, and National Anti-Doping Agency.

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 2,216 crore in 2019-20 (see Table 1).  This is a 11% increase over the revised estimates of 2018-19 (Rs 2,002 crore).  In 2018-19, the budget estimate for Department of Youth Affairs was Rs 621 crore, and the budget estimate for Department of Sports was Rs 1575 crore.2 The allocations for the major heads across the two departments are provided in Table 1.

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


Actual 2017-18

RE 2018-19

BE 2019-20

% 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.  Others: National Sports Development Fund, and contribution to the World Anti-doping Agency.

Sources: Expenditure Budget, Union Budget 2019-20, PRS.

  • Under the Department of Sports, the Khelo India programme, National Sports Federations and the Sports Authority of India have the highest allocations. Together, 58% of the Ministry’s allocations have gone to these heads. (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Major expenditure allocations under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (2019-20) (in %)

Source:  Expenditure Budget Vol- II, Union Budget 2019-20; 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 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 56 NSFs in India.[1] 
  • 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, the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan and the Rashtriya Yuva Sashaktikaran Karyakaram received the highest allocation at Rs 257 crore and Rs 138 crore respectively in 2019-20.

Issues with financial allocation

In terms of budgetary allocations to the Ministry, the Standing Committee on Human Resource Development (2018-19) noted that the allocations have been lower than the projected demand, year after year.[2]  For example, in 2018-19, the projected demand for Department of Youth Affairs was Rs 873 crore. Against this demand, the allocated budget estimate was Rs 621 crore.2 

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

Note: Revised estimates have been used for 2018-19 and budget estimates for 2019-20.

Sources: Union Budgets, 2008-19; PRS.

The utilisation of funds in terms of actual expenditure has been consistently high in the past four years.  It was over 87% from 2016-19, 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. 

Table 2:  Comparison of budget estimates and the actual expenditure (2007-18) (in Rs crore)





















































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

Sources: Union Budgets, 2015-19; PRS.

The Ministry of Finance has included sports infrastructure in the harmonised master list of infrastructure sub-sectors on September 9, 2016.[3]  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.

Restructuring of the Department of Youth Affairs

The Department undertook a comprehensive exercise to restructure and consolidate all schemes operated by Department of Youth Affairs into three schemes: (i) National Service Scheme (NSS), (ii) Rashtriya Yuva Sashaktikaran Karyakram (RYSK) and (iii) Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD).

Eight Schemes of the Department that were operating as standalone schemes, will now operate as components of a single cohesive programme under RYSK. The Standing Committee on Human Resource Development observed that this merger will achieve uniformity in the implementation of these schemes. 2

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.[4]  All 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. 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.[5]    

National Sports Development Fund (NSDF)

The National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) was established by the central government Rs 1,756 crore 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 has been donated or provided by the government, to the NSDF.  In 2014-15, this amount was significantly higher at approximately Rs 45 crore.[6]  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:2,[7],[8],

  • Speed of expenditure: The Committee observed that the speed of expenditure of the Department of Youth Affairs was slow and a large part of the allocation had been kept for the last quarter of the financial year. Against a projected demand of Rs 904 crore for the year 2017-18, it got Rs 550 crore at BE which was further reduced to Rs 544 crore at RE.  The Committee found that the Department still had more than Rs 150 crore to spend. It therefore, recommended that the Department should take a cautious approach while making projections and allocation should be spent in a time bound manner.2
  • Lack of coordination: There is a lack of coordination between the NSFs and the SAI, as well as NSFs and State Sports Federations (SSFs).7  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.
  • Functioning of NSFs: The Committee observed that the composition of most NSFs is mostly dominated by non-sportspersons.7  The Committee recommended constituting an independent Election Commission and ensuring adequate representation sportspersons and other sports experts in the Committee.  This would also address issues of mis-governance, mal-administration, among others.

Further, there is no grievance redressal mechanism in most NSFs.  The Committee recommended establishing a multi-layered mechanism for the same at the national and state levels.7  It also suggested assigning the role of final adjudicating 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.7  Further, the Committee observed that there are still some erring NSFs which are not complying with the government's guidelines.

  • 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.7
  • 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.2 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 Act, 2018 was passed by Parliament in August 2018.[9]  The Act 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, 39% of the posts at NYKS are vacant.
  • Under the Sports Authority of India, the Committee found that the mode and pace of recruitment was not satisfactory. There was a shortage of coaches and more than 37% of posts were vacant. While filling posts, the Committee advised against contract based appointments.2
  • NSDF and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): There exists a confusion among the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) regarding NSDF and CSR.8  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 must 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.8  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 was observed by the Committee. Further, it was noted that meetings of Hostel Management Committee were not held regularly, which adversely affected the smooth functioning of Youth Hostels.  In this context, the Committee recommended that the Ministry must initiate appropriate measures to get all Youth Hostels free of unauthorised occupants.  Further, all requisite steps should be taken by the Ministry to regularise the meetings of the Hostel Management Committee.


[1] “List of Recognised National Sports Federations for the year 2019”, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports,

[2] “Report no.303: Demands for Grants 2018-19 (Demand No. 99) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports”, Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, March 8, 2018,

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

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

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

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

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

[8] “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,

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


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