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Conference of Ministers of States/UTs in charge of Youth Affairs and Sports

The Union Finance, Corporate Affairs and I &B Minister Shri Arun Jaitley has suggested that concentration on sports of core competence such as Hockey, Wrestling, Archery, Badminton, Boxing and shooting etc can produce better results for the country in international sports events like Olympics. Speaking as a chief guest at the Conference of Ministers of States/UTs in charge of Youth Affairs and Sports here today, he said that past experience has shown that all countries cannot excel in all sports and a focused approach on sports of core competence has yielded better results for the countries world over.

Shri Jaitley said, for creating talent in Sports an adequate infrastructure is needed and a system has to be created where Government and sports federations need to contribute to create infrastructure at least up to the district level. Giving the example of Cricket, the Minister said, Cricket Stadiums are owned by Federations / associations and this practice has to be extended to other sports to meet the shortage of the sports infrastructure. He said , State resources , Efforts of the Federations and CSR funding can do a lot for betterment of sports and sportspersons in the country.

Referring to the issue of Management in sports , Shri Jaitley said while the sports is a state subject, the Centre gives representation to the country in International sports, the actual management of sports is with Sports Federations. He urged the Federations to professionalize their structure for better management of sports in the country.

The Minister said, Delhi has adequate sports infrastructure due to various international events held in the past, however, he said, this infrastructure is underutilized. He suggested that with a liberal approach people in Delhi and NCR should be encouraged to utilize these facilities properly for sporting purposes after making a reasonable payment.

Speaking at the Inaugural session, the Minister of State (I/C) Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Sarbanand Sonowal said that the Union budget has provided funds for innovative schemes. Funds have been allocated for setting up National Sports University at Manipur. He said, Manipur is the nursery of sports talent and has given many internationals and Olympians. This will go on a long way in promoting sports in the North Eastern Region. Similarly, Finance Minister has given a special package for promotion of sports in Jammu & Kashmir, which had suffered a lot. Shri sonowal said, his Ministry will do its best to channelize the youth of Jammu & Kashmir to join the main stream and bring laurels for the country. He said , It was the noble idea of Prime Minister and the Finance Minister to tap young talent at school level and the Budget has provided funds for launching of National Sports Talent Search Scheme to tap young talent with sports potential from schools and provide them support to achieve their peak of excellence in sports. Another pioneering effort is being launched is to identify medal prospects for the Olympic Games 2016 and 2020 and has given us the scheme called ‘Target Olympic Podium'(TOP) Scheme. The Finance Minister has further extended his support to TOP scheme by arranging a contribution of Rs.10.00 crores per annum for the next three years through a PSU under him, the Minister added.

Referring to Youth Affairs, the Minister said, National Service Scheme (NSS). NYKS has about 8.1 million youth volunteers enrolled through 2.85 lakh youth clubs and NSS has 3.3 million student volunteers in senior secondary schools, colleges and universities.

He said, NYKS has launched an important programme called ‘Punarjagaran’ (Rejuvenation) on 2nd October, 2014. The programme aims at creating a youth movement, involving them in national-building activities like spreading the message of peace and universal brotherhood, promoting the spirit of volunteerism, campaigning on social issues and creating awareness about the Government programmes. The Programme will directly cover about 10,000 villages in 100 Districts and will culminate at Mathura (UP), the birth place of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, on 25.09.2015, on his birth centenary – with a National Youth Convention of about 10,000 youth. He urged all the States and UTs to provide whole-hearted support for this important initiative.

Shri Sonowal Said, Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD) under his Ministry is an important institution of national importance in the field of youth development. He said, We have started the ‘National Young Leaders Programme’ as announced by the Finance Minister in the Budget speech 2014-15. The Minister said, India has potential to do well in the field of sports. Timely identification of sports talent and its nurturing is of key importance.

He said, it is extremely important to develop sports infrastructure and support sports activities at grassroots level. Towards this end, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan (RGKA) was introduced in 2014-15 to build a sports complex in every Block, in a phased manner, over a period of 5 years. The minister said that he is confident that with active support of States, this Scheme will pick up pace in the coming years. Shri Sonowal said, an important dimension is the change in circumstances in the light of the new scheme of devolution of funds to States. In this context, he solicited the views of the Ministers of Sports from States and UTs for effective implementation of RGKA from 2015-16 onwards. In the light of the experience during the last one year in implementing RGKA Scheme, He also invited suggestions from all the States to re-address this noble scheme which had earlier aimed at creating sports infrastructure and sports environment at grass root level at villages through Panchayats.

Referring to a number of other initiatives being taken to strengthen the sports infrastructure in the country, Shri Sonowal said, National Sports Academies for junior and seniors in major sports disciplines are proposed to be set up in various parts of the country.

Minister of State (I/C) for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy in his Speech said that his ministry is focussing on various sectors to bring improvement in life of youth of the country through different Skill Development initiatives under one umbrella. He said, in Sports. programmes/ policies of Skill Development can help sportspersons in a big way once their active playing career is over and they look forward to other opportunities in their life.

The two-day meeting of State/Union Territory Ministers and Secretaries which began from 20th March, 2015 has discussed among other things schemes/programmes/initiatives of Department of Youth Affairs and Department of Sports. During the course of the meeting deliberations have taken place on Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan, National Sports Talent Search Scheme, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, National Young Leaders Programme and National Programme for Youth and Adolescent Development etc.


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