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Context: The Prime Minister of India inaugurated the Khelo India University Games 2023 via video conferencing. Over 4750 participants from over 200 universities will compete in 21 sports categories during the games.
- The Prime Minister thanked the Uttar Pradesh Government and everyone on the organisation of the Khelo India University Games 2023 and stated that Uttar Pradesh has now become a melting pot of sporting potential.
- According to the Prime Minister, the event has become a fantastic vehicle for instilling the ethos of 'Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat' as well as team spirit.
- The Prime Minister also stated that approximately 12 National Centres of Excellence have been operationalized, where training and sports science support are provided to boost performance.
Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/ek-bharat-shreshtha-bharat-34
- It is a national programme launched by the Government of India in 2018 to promote sports and fitness among the youth of the country.
- It aims to identify and nurture sporting talent, provide them with world-class training and facilities, and create a culture of sports and physical activity in India.
- It provides annual financial assistance of Rs. 5 lahks per athlete for eight years to selected potential sportspersons under the Khelo India Talent Development Scheme.
- It organises the Khelo India Youth Games, a multi-disciplinary sporting event for under-17 and under-21 athletes, and the Khelo India University Games, a similar event for university students.
- It supports the creation and upgradation of sports infrastructure at various levels, such as district, state and national.
- It implements the Khelo India School Games, which are competitions among schools in various sports disciplines.
- It conducts mass participation events such as Khelo India Fitness Assessment Programme, Khelo India Pledge and Khelo India Quiz to raise awareness and enthusiasm for sports among the masses.
- It helps in developing a sporting ecosystem in India that can produce world-class athletes and champions.
- It enhances the health and fitness levels of the youth and reduces the risk of lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension.
- It fosters social inclusion and national integration by bringing together people from different regions, backgrounds and cultures through sports.
- It creates employment opportunities and economic benefits for the sports sector and related industries.
- It boosts the image and prestige of India in the international arena by showcasing its sporting achievements and potential.
- The lack of adequate funding and resources to implement the programme effectively and sustainably.
- The poor quality and availability of sports infrastructure and equipment at the grassroots level.
- The low awareness and participation of the people, especially in rural areas, in sports and physical activities.
- The shortage of qualified and trained coaches, trainers, physiotherapists and other support staff for the athletes.
- The issues of doping, corruption, nepotism and politicisation in the sports administration and governance.
Steps need to be taken
- To increase the budgetary allocation and ensure the timely release of funds for the programme.
- To improve the coordination and collaboration among various stakeholders such as central and state governments, sports federations, the private sector, NGOs and media.
- To upgrade the existing sports infrastructure and create new ones as per international standards and norms.
- To expand the reach and coverage of the programme to all parts of the country, especially in remote and backward areas.
- To enhance the quality and quantity of human resources for sports by providing incentives, recognition and opportunities for them.
- To adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards any malpractices or irregularities in the sports sector and ensure transparency and accountability in its functioning.
- Khelo India is a visionary initiative that can transform India into a sporting powerhouse. It requires collective efforts and commitment from all stakeholders to make it a success. The programme also needs to ensure that the benefits of its initiatives are sustained and scaled up over time and that the best practices and learnings are shared and replicated across states and regions. It has the potential to transform India into a great sporting nation if implemented effectively and efficiently.
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Khelo India: https://www.iasgyan.in/rstv/perspective-five-years-of-khelo-india
Q. What are the main objectives and achievements of the Khelo India programme? How can it address the existing gaps and challenges in the Indian sports ecosystem? What are the prospects and recommendations for improving the programme?