In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today Shri Sonowal said, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, has been enacted, making elementary education a Fundamental Right, which, inter alia, provides for
(i) a play ground for each school;
(ii) A part time instructor for physical education in upper primary schools;
(iii) Supply of play material, games and sports equipment, as required, to schools.
The Minister said, in terms of the provisions of the RTE Act, no school shall be established or recognized unless it fulfils the norms specified in the Schedule attached to the Act.
He further said, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has made it mandatory for all schools affiliated to it to provide one compulsory period for sports upto 10th class and two periods in a week for classes 11 and 12.
Shri Sonowal said, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has recently formulated National Sports Talent Search Scheme, which inter alia, provides for nurturing of the identified sporting potential / talent in district level sports schools / central sports schools / national sports academies, etc., to make them excel at the national and international sports competitions.
For identifying the talent and nurturing and training the identified talent in the age group of 8 to 25 years, which is mainly from schools and colleges, the Sports Authority of India is running the following schemes:
(i) National Sports Talent Contest (NSTC): The main objective of the scheme is to identify gifted and talented sportspersons among school children in the age group of 8-14 years.
(ii) Army Boys Sports Companies (ABSC): is implemented in collaboration with the Army. Children in the age group of 8-16 years are imparted scientific training to achieve excellence at national and international levels. The scheme also provides job opportunities in the Indian Army.
(iii) Special Area Games (SAG): This Scheme follows an area-specific approach to scout and nurture talent for modern competitive games and sports from tribal, rural, coastal and hilly areas of the country. The main objective of the scheme is to train talented and meritorious sportspersons in the age group of 12-18 years.
(iv) SAI Training Centres (STC): Under this scheme, talented youth in the age group of 14-21 years are given the option to join the scheme on residential or non-residential basis.
(v) Centres of Excellence (COE): The main objective of this scheme is to identify and train outstanding sportspersons in the age group of 12 to 25 years who are medal prospects for the country in international competitions.
Trainees under the above-mentioned schemes are provided with stipend, sports kit, accidental insurance, as well as competition exposure.
Shri Sonowal said, under Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan (RGKA) Scheme, integrated sports complexes will be constructed in every rural block panchayat of the country. Each Sports complex will cost Rs. 1.75 crore and have 11 outdoor and 5 indoor games with flexibility to choose 3 local games within the limit of 16 games. The Outdoor disciplines are Athletics, Archery, Badminton, Basketball, Football, Handball, Hockey, Kabaddi, Kho-Kho, Tennis and Volley ball. The Indoor disciplines are Boxing, Wrestling, Table Tennis, Weightlifting and also provision of a Multi-gym.