With a view to achieving the twin objectives of mass participation and promotion of excellence in sports, the Government has decided to continue the Scheme of “Khelo India – National Programme for Development of Sports” over the 15th Finance Commission Cycle (2021-22 to 2025-26) at an outlay of Rs 3165.50 crore.
The Union Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, thanked the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for approving the continuation of the Khelo India Scheme. The Minister stated, “On behalf of the Ministry and all stakeholders, I express our deep gratitude to the Prime Minister for extending the tenure of the Khelo India Scheme for another five years as well as bringing it into national prominence by increasing its budgetary allocation by 48% in Budget 2022 and including it in the PM’s Awards Scheme.”
The Khelo India Scheme is the flagship Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports. It aims at infusing sports culture and achieving sporting excellence in the country thus allowing the populace to harness the power of sports through its cross-cutting influence. The Khelo India programme includes playfield development; community coaching development; promotion of community sports; establishment of a strong sports competition structure at both school and university level as also for rural / indigenous sports, sports for persons with disability and women sports; filling up of critical gaps in sports infrastructure, including creation of hubs of sports excellence in select universities; talent identification and development; support to sports academies; implementation of a national physical fitness drive for school children; and sports for peace and development.
The basic objectives, vision and structure of the extant Khelo India Scheme have been retained. However, on the basis of the experience of this Ministry while implementing the extant Scheme as well as the evaluation/recommendations of the Third Party Evaluator, the components of the Scheme have been rearranged and rationalized by merging/subsuming some of the similar components with the larger ones, thus condensing the twelve existing components into following five components:-
(i) Creation and Upgradation of Sports Infrastructure
(ii) Sports Competitions and Talent Development
(iii) Khelo India Centres and Sports Academies
(iv) Fit India Movement
(v) Promotion of Inclusiveness through Sports
The other features of the Scheme are broadly retained for continuity and strengthening of the established good practices. Besides, the Scheme has been rationalised by making it leaner and simplifying the structure and approval process, as well as by removing the redundancies and syntactical deficiencies. Also, ‘Khelo India Winter Games’ have been included under the ‘Sports Competitions and Talent Development’ component. The ‘Fit India Movement’ has been introduced as a separate and dedicated component.
The primary focus of the Scheme is to create a national-level platform for the athletes to showcase their talent and to identify them for further grooming and financial support. The Khelo India Games have been a harbinger of this effort. From 2017 to 2021, three editions of Khelo India School and Youth Games, one edition of Khelo India University Games and two editions of Khelo India Winter Games have been hosted, giving talented young sportspersons a chance to win their way to a Khelo India Scholarship and be trained for higher levels of competition by the best coaches and in state-of-the-art sporting complexes. The Games have seen a participation of over 20,000 athletes, with close to 3,000 athletes identified as Khelo India Athletes (KIAs) who are currently training at Khelo India Academies, revamped SAI Centers, and are given an Out of Pocket Allowance of ₹10,000 per month, besides being supported for training, equipment, diet and education.
Grants-in-aid have also been given for construction as well as upgradation of sports infrastructure projects under the “Utilization and Creation/Upgradation of Sports Infrastructure” vertical of the Khelo India Scheme. This Ministry has sanctioned 282 sports infrastructure projects of various types amounting to Rs. 2,328.39 crores across the country, during the last 5 years, catering to different categories of sports disciplines and sportspersons.