New Delhi, Aug 6 (PTI) In a bid to promote sports in the country, Union Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore today said that a games period will be made mandatory in schools after reducing the syllabus by 50 percent by next year.
"We have come to a stage where sports is not a part of education, it is education. The ministry of education is ensuring that the syllabus in schools by 2019 is reduced by 50 percent and there will be a sports period on a regular basis," Rathore said.
Rathore said the ministry is planning several things to make sports more relevant.
"We are also ensuring that the SAI (now SI) reduces its manpower by 50 percent by 2022 so that they can cater to sports and it has a lean body and money is spent on sports.
"This year we will have 20 specialized sports schools and the government of India will pump about Rs 7-10 crore each. The idea is to have a very pointed approach so each school will have only two or three main sports. They will be very focused," he said.
Rathore also welcomed the Rugby World Cup 2019 trophy tour in India by unveiling the Webb Ellis Cup in the presence of World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper, Asia Rugby President, Aga Hussain, actor Rahul Bose and Rugby India President Numazar Mehta.
Also present at the event were Sports Secretary, Rahul Bhatnagar, SAI DG Neelam Kapur and IOA secretary, Rajeev Mehta.
The two-year Trophy Tour, which aims to engage and excite new and existing rugby fans ahead of Rugby World Cup, will travel to Mumbai and Bhubaneshwar next.
It will be the first time that the tournament will be played in Asia when Japan hosts the Rugby World Cup 2019.
"We are delighted to welcome the Webb Ellis Cup to India in the run-up to the World Cup. We are happy to see India included within the 18 nations that will be visited by the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour," Rathore said.