Development of Children in Sports

New Delhi: As per the National Curriculum Framework, Health and Physical Education is a Compulsory subject from Class I to X. In this regard, National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has brought out material for Class VI, VII and VIII as Teachers Guide and for Class IX Textbooks on Health and Physical Education (HPE). In addition, Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE) has introduced a streamlined and well designed Health and Physical Education (HPE) Program to mainstream health and physical education in schools for students of class I – XII. CBSE has made Health and Physical Education compulsory in all classes from I-XII. The Board has directed schools to keep one period of HPE for classes I-XII each day. All students from these classes are compulsorily required to participate in at least two sports activities as per their interest and capability and this has been included in the eligibility criteria to appear in Board Examinations of classes X and XII .

University Grants Commission (UGC) has prepared guidelines for institutional fitness plan. These guidelines encourage higher educational institutions to adopt policies and practices towards fitness and well being of students and staff. The indicative guidelines inter-alia suggest denoting minimum one hour per day on fitness activities. UGC also provided Financial Assistance to eligible colleges under the scheme “Development of Sports Infrastructure & Equipment” for promotion of sports with an idea to produce enough sports persons to participate in elite sports.

Department of School Education and Literacy has launched an Integrated Scheme –Samagra Shiksha for School Education. Realizing the need for holistic development of children, under the Samagra Shiksha, Sports and Physical Education component has been introduced for the first time for encouragement of Sports, Physical activities, Yoga, Co-curricular activities etc. A provision has been made for grants for sports equipments in all government schools at the rate of Rs. 5000 to Rs. 25,000 for various levels in schools per annum. In addition, as per new norms of the scheme, an additional grant upto Rs. 25000 per school will be provided to schools in case at least 2 students of that school win the medal in Khelo India National school games competition. During the Year 2021-22, an outlay of Rs. 822.19 Crore has been approved under Sports Grant for Government Schools.

Ministry has issued guidelines to States and UTs to ensure proper utilization of sports grant. These guidelines include an indicative list of age appropriate sports equipments for government schools. States and UTs have been advised to encourage schools to include traditional/regional games of the respective State/Region. This department has also advised to all the States/UTs to encourage students to avail the sports facilities available with the Department of Sports in the States/UTs free of cost as per the guidelines issued by Sports Authority of India (SAI). As per affiliation bye-laws of CBSE, all schools are compulsorily required to possess playground, other sports facilities for students and compulsory recruitment of Physical Education teacher at each level. The Board also ensures availability of these facilities through physical inspection.

Further, with a view to achieving the twin objectives of mass participation and promotion of excellence in sports, the Government has introduced the Scheme of “Khelo India – National Programme for Development of Sports”. The Khelo India Scheme is the flagship Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports which 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 information was given by the Minister of State for Education, Smt. Annpurna Devi in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.

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