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Understanding India's sports budget 2013-2014: Part 1

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The budget for the next fiscal year was announced a few days ago. The sports budget has seen an increase of 17.51 % from last year. But not all of it has been divided equally among all sports. And not all of it goes towards the direct development of any particular sport. When I first hunted down the sports budget, I expected to scroll down straight into Basketball-allotted 100 crore or something. I couldn’t have been further from truth. Generally, one may just assume that the budget is divided among the various sports federations, but it’s a lot more complex than that. For a complete understanding of where the money goes, here’s the first part of the series, giving a detailed breakdown of the sports budget. This part tackles the first five headings of the sports budget, here they are at a glance -

Figures are in crores

(Click to enlarge)Figures are in crores

1. Secretariat Social Service

This fund provides for the expenditure of the secretariat. Details are sketchy on what exactly this entails. In the other cases, I’ve had to condense the information available about the different places the money goes, but in this case there is only one line available about the subject.

Amount – 14.72 crore
Last year- 15.60 crore
% of total sports budget- 1.2%

2. Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS)

A lot of development of sports at the grass root level is done through the schools. The educational institutes have a built-in framework through which kids progress age-wise, making it an ideal ground for the development of sporting talent. But there is a lot of potential talent which doesn’t necessarily pass through schools. In order to tap into that, the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan has come into play. This is an autonomous body, the largest grass root level non-political organization which caters to more then 8 million non-student rural youth in the age group of 13-35 years. It does this through its 2.58 million community based youth clubs. You can find your local office here.

There are a total of 46 regional offices and 26 zonal offices spread out over 501 of the 623 districts in India. It is in the process of expanding in the remaining 122 districts. This body is the arm of the government which helps to implement and put its plans in place for the benefit of the youth who don’t have the luxury of attending a school.

Amount – 124.22 crore
Last year – 127.48 crore
% of total sports budget – 10.1%

3. National Service Scheme

NSS (not to be confused with National Secret Service) is more about the holistic development of the students rather than excellence in a particular sport. The scheme focuses on the students at university or college level and higher secondary school level. It involves giving them an opportunity to work with the underprivileged who live in villages/slums. The objective is to make them socially conscious. The two kinds of activities done under NSS are special camping programmes by volunteers and the regular activities. This doesn’t directly contribute towards development of its participants as athletes. Indirectly, the upliftment of the underprivileged allows for their development in sports and the participants developing a social conscious increases the chances that they will continue to undertake activities for the development of the lesser fortunate.

Amount – 79.87 crore
Last year – 76.31 crore
% of total sports budget – 6.55%

4. National Discipline Scheme

The National Discipline Scheme was introduced in the second Five-Year Plan. It allows for the central government to reimburse the expenditure on the pay and allowances of the National Discipline Scheme Instructors while they are engaged in national fitness corps scheme and other incidental expenses. This scheme provides lessons in physical culture, mental discipline, courtesy and Indian traditions, etc.

Amount – 2 crore
Last year – 2 crore
% of total sports budget – 0.16%

5. National Programme for Youth and Adolescent Development (NPYAD)

A merger between four central sector grants-in-aid schemes of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports resulted in the creation of the NPYAD. The four schemes were Promotion of Youth Activities and Training, Promotion of National Integration, Promotion of Adventure and Development, and Empowerment of Adolescents. The whole idea behind this is to have “synergy and convergence in operational mechanism and programme delivery.”

I ended up reading that line in the voice of one of my professors. I thought I had seen the last of the word ‘synergy’ once I was done with management institutes. After ‘grassroots’, that is the word which makes me cringe the most with its frequency of use. The damn thing just keeps cropping up everywhere. Anyway, the main idea behind this scheme is to streamline the four schemes and put them together since they all end up serving a similar purpose, that of improving the physical and spiritual lot of kids by introducing a bunch of activities which get them out and about in the fields.

Amount – 20.50 crore
Last year – 20.60 crore
% of total sports budget – 1.68%

Read the second part of the series here – Understanding India’s sports budget 2013-14: Part 2

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