On July 23, a bill was introduced by the government in Lok Sabha to establish a National Sports University in Manipur. This university will work to promote and nurture education in the areas of sports sciences, sports technology, sports management and sports coaching and other areas related to the development of sports and games. The bill was introduced by Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.
National Sports University Bill, 2018 replaces the Ordinance which was promulgated by the President in 2017. As the 2017 bill of the same name could not be passed, the government had come out with an ordinance. The 2017 bill was withdrawn by the Sports and Youth Affairs Minister before the introduction of the new bill.
About the University
The National Sports University, the first of its kind, will also function as the national training centre for select sports disciplines by adopting best international practices and latest technologies. The University, however, will not restrict its operations to Manipur, as the legislation also proposed to enable the University to establish “outlying campuses” across the country and even abroad.
With the intention to make the University a world-class institution, the government has entered into an agreement with the University of Canberra and the Victoria University, Australia, for development of curriculum, research facilities and laboratories, among others.
The National Sports University aims at evolving as an institute of advanced study in the field of physical education and sports sciences, while also promoting traditional and tribal sports. It is to serve as a Centre of Excellence for the elite and other talented sportspersons of all sports and games.
Some of the other objects of the University, as given out by the bill are, to provide for research, development and dissemination of knowledge in physical education and sports sciences; to provide professional and academic leadership to other institutions in physical education and sports fields; to provide vocational guidance and placement services; to generate capabilities to provide infrastructure on par with International standards and prepare highly qualified professionals in various sporting fields. The first academic year of the university will commence from the year 2018-19.
The Logical Indian take
The establishment of the National Sports University is a welcome step and is sure to be met with much enthusiasm by the sporting community and general public alike. For a country like India, with more than 65% of its population below the age of 35, and such immense untapped potential for sporting excellence, this step was long overdue. The University, if operated well, is sure to create a positive shift in the mindsets of people towards sports. People may begin to see sports as a viable mainstream career option, rather than just a luxury for the elite and well-to-do section of the society. If the University succeeds at doing away with the stigma of corruption and middle-men in sports, and at providing a clear path to aspiring athletes, then it may well succeed in its objective of making India into a sporting power.