Wednesday, September 8, 2010

CWG will be a success, says Gill

Expressing confidence that the upcoming 2010 Commonwealth Games will be held successfully, Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Dr. M.S. Gill on Tuesday announced doubling of cash awards for the CWG and Asian Games.

To encourage sportspersons, Dr. Gill announced the doubling of cash awards for the coming Commonwealth Games and Asian Games to Rs.20 lakhs (from Rs.10 lakhs) for Gold Medalist, Rs.10 lakhs (from Rs.5 lakhs) for Silver Medalist, and Rs.6 lakhs (from Rs.3 lakhs) for Bronze Medalist.

Speaking on the issue of Commonwealth Games preparation here today during the 3rd Conference of State Ministers for Youth Affairs and Sports, Dr. Gill stated that the main outcome of the games would be the performance of our sportspersons and the sporting legacy left behind by the event.

Appreciating the efforts made by States in implementation of Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan (PYKKA), Dr. M.S. Gill, referred to the recent initiatives taken by the Ministry such as release of central share in a single instalment; introduction of structured course and pedagogy for training of masters trainers and kridashrees; coverage of all panchayats at one go in respect of small States/UTs like Lakshwadeep and Andaman & Nicobar; 20% annual coverage for North Eastern states against 10% for normal States.

Dr. Gill emphasized the need to promote and protect playing fields, and urged the State Governments to set up State level Playing Field Associations.

He also referred to the new proposal for creation of Urban Sports Infrastructure, which envisages 100% financial assistance for the setting up of community sports facilities and sports academies, engagement of coaches, coach development etc.

The Minister appreciated the innovative work done by the Government of Madhya Pradesh in setting up several professionally managed sports academies for which they have been awarded Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar for 2010.

Dr. Gill, on this occasion, announced that from now onwards one award will be earmarked for the best performing State in sports development.

On the youth side, Dr Gill informed efforts are on to add over one lakh rural youth clubs to the present number of three lakh rural youth clubs, which would lead to enhancement of coverage of membership from the present level of 80 lakh to over 100 lakh youth.

He also referred to the Rajiv Gandhi Award Scheme, which promotes adventure activities among the youth, including mountaineering, trekking and desert safari, which are aimed at national integration.

The Minister stated that, this year more than 5,000 beneficiaries will be covered as compared to 2,000 last year.

On this occasion, Dr. Gill also announced that the National Youth Festival will be held at Udaipur form January 12 to 16, 2011.

He said that the Ministry will provide a grant of Rs.2 crore to the State Government of Rajasthan for the conduct of youth festival.

Also present on this occasion was the Minister of State for Human Resource Development Purandeswari Devi who chose to highlight various initiatives taken by the Ministry of Human Resource Development to integrate physical education and sports with the school curriculum.

She said the National Education Policy and the National Curriculum Framework already provide for this, which has been now furthered with the introduction of the Right to Education Act, 2009.

The Act prescribes that every school should have access to a playground and engage a part-time physical education instructor.

The Minister also highlighted the need for convergence between Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and the Panchayat Yuva Krida aur Khel Abhiyan (PYKKA).

In their recommendations, the State Sports Ministers, on this occasion stated that the Youth Affairs and Sports Ministry and the Ministry of Human Resource Development should issue joint guidelines for the integration of physical education and sports in the school curriculum.

One of the other various recommendations by the State Sports ministers stated that Sport should be used as a development tool, particularly in the tribal, hilly areas and border districts.

They unanimously resolved that there was an urgent need for enacting a National Sports Act for promoting good governance practices in the National Sports Federations, including professional management, financial accountability and good electoral practices.

The conference concluded on a positive note with an optimistic outlook on the future of sports development in India both at the participative and the competitive level.

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