In a written reply in the Lok Sabha today Shri Sonowal said, Sports is a State subject. Government of India through Sports Authority of India (SAI) is implementing various sports promotional schemes to identify and nurture sports talent in the country including rural areas. National Sports Talent Contest (NSTC) scheme of Sports Authority of India (SAI) is making every effort to engage young boys and girls in the age group of 8-14 years from school and nurture them by providing scientific training. Following are distinct sub-Schemes of NSTC:-
i) Indigenous Games and Martial Arts (IGMA)
iii) Regular School of NSTC Scheme
The Minister further said, the Army Boys Sports Company (ABSC) Scheme is joint venture of the Army and SAI wherein boys in the age group of 8-16 years are inducted under the scheme and after attaining the age of 17 years, the trainees are enrolled in Army. The other schemes of the SAI which help in scouting of sporting talent and nurturing them are the SAI Training Centre (STC) Scheme, the Special Area Games (SAG) Scheme, Extension Centres of STC/SAG and Centre of Excellence (COE).
In addition to above, the Government is also considering a proposal known as National Sports Talent Search Scheme (NSTSS) under which it is proposed to identify sporting talent among students in the age group of 8 to 12 years and to nurture them so as to enable them to participate in National and International sports events. An amount of Rs.50 crore has been allocated by the Government for this purpose during the current financial year. At present, this is at a conceptual stage only and therefore it would not be possible to furnish further details at this juncture, the Minister said.