Union Cabinet approves revamping of Khelo India Programme, Rs 5 lakh scholarships announced for athletes
The Union Cabinet has approved the revamping of the Khelo India programme at a cost of Rs.1,756 crore for the period of 2017-18 to 2019-20. This is a historical moment in the history of Indian sports as the programme aims at professionalizing sport and transforming it into a tool for individual development, along with community, national, and overall economic development. Each athlete selected under the Khelo India scheme is to receive an annual scholarship worth Rs. 5 lakh.
Rajyavardhan Rathore, while addressing the media in the presence of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Health Minister J.P. Nadda, said that the decision to revamp Khelo India has been taken up with a twin goal in mind: Sports for all and Sports for excellence. According to Rathore, Khelo India aims at impacting and transforming the entire sporting ecosystem.
This development is a rather important one and will have a widespread impact on all the aspects of sports, including infrastructure, community sports, talent identification and the whole competition structure. The scheme also has an aim to make sports more gender inclusive and socially inclusive. It will aim to cover about 200 million children of the age group of 10-18, under a massive national physical fitness drive. The scheme is effectively going to incorporate a healthy lifestyle in the lives of youngsters. Another initiative of the scheme is to cover 20 universities across the country to promote as hubs of sporting excellence.
Some of the main features of the Khelo India scheme include:
#1 Pan Indian Sports Scholarship Scheme, which will cover 1,000 of the most talented and young players belonging to all the sports.
#2 This is the first time that a long term athlete development plan would be offered to sportspersons and athletes.
#3 Under this programme, the government will try to use the latest technology available, in all aspects of sports promotion, for example, use of mobile apps for circulation of sports training, National Sports Talent Search portal for talent identification, interactive website for indigenous sports; GIS-based information system for locating and using sports infrastructure, etc.
Earlier, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi had made his intentions clear that he was looking to improve the condition of sports in India. The plan is taking shape finally, with the revamping of Khelo India scheme.
The Sports Minister made the announcement through a series of tweets: