Standing Committee Report Summary
- The Standing Committee on Human Resource Development (Chair: Dr. Satyanarayan Jatiya) submitted its report on the Khelo India scheme on December 10, 2019. The scheme aims to revive the sports culture in India and promote excellence in sports. Key observations and recommendations of the Committee include:
- Administration: The Khelo India scheme is implemented by a General Council chaired by the minister-in-charge. The Council functions as the policy making body for the scheme. The Committee recommended that an eminent sportsperson or sports administrator should be appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the General Council to oversee the implementation of the scheme. It noted that such a person would be sensitive to problems faced by athletes and could act as an interface between athletes and the administration.
- Utilisation of funds: The Committee observed that during 2018-19 and 2019-20, the actual expenditure on the Khelo India scheme was Rs 324 crore and Rs 318 crore, respectively. However, the estimated allocation was Rs 520 crore and Rs 500 crore, respectively. The Department of Sports specified several constraints in the implementation of the scheme such as inadequate funds, human resources and sports infrastructure. It noted the need for an increased budget to remedy these constraints.
- The Committee recommended that the Department should first utilise funds allocated to it, and then mobilise other resources. Other resources could include: (i) funds from private and corporate sectors, (ii) public private partnerships to create sports infrastructure, and (iii) converging the scheme with the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme. This scheme enables MPs to implement developmental work in their constituencies.
- Talent identification: The Committee observed that the process of talent identification was complex and lengthy. Talent identification begins with pan-India trials of children by talent scouts (eminent coaches and players). Once players are shortlisted from these competitions, they are called for an assessment camp, where a final list of players is composed. These players are then sent to sports academies for training. The Committee noted that repeated tests for sportspersons can lead to favouritism and regionalism in the selection process. It recommended that a single window selection procedure should be followed.
- Shortage of coaches: The Committee observed that there are 1,524 posts for coaches in various cadres. At present, 980 of these posts are filled, creating a shortfall of 544 coaches. It recommended that the vacant posts for coaches should be filled expediently. Further, the Department should collaborate with coaches running private sports academies to help train athletes.
- Sports infrastructure: The Committee noted that schools, colleges, and universities lack sports infrastructure. Currently, to fill these gaps in sports infrastructure, the Department uses two mechanisms: (i) setting up sports centres in select universities, and (ii) providing grants to states to build infrastructure. The Committee observed that only 13 states have been given these grants. It noted that certain states including Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha did not receive any grants. The Committee recommended that the Ministry should develop sports infrastructure in these states and tribal areas where unassessed sporting talent may exist to ensure uniformity in sports infrastructure across states.
- To increase sports infrastructure, the Committee recommended that private residential schools with sports facilities of international standards in at least four disciplines should be identified. Such schools should be developed as centres for sports excellence in every district of the country.
- Education: The Khelo India scheme identifies and trains players for international sports events such as the Olympics. The Committee noted that in 2018-19, of the 1,518 players selected for training, only 625 joined the accredited academies, and 893 dropped out. It identified the main reason for drop-outs as a lack of integrated education at the academies. The Committee recommended that the academies should have educational and hostel facilities so that trainees can complete their basic education. Further, training spaces in existing private schools, colleges and academies with hostels, should be identified. These may be affiliated under the Khelo India scheme and provided with certified coaches for the purpose of training sportspersons.
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