June 17: The Sports Ministry is all set to establish Khelo India State Centres of Excellence (KISCE) under the ministry’s flagship, Khelo India Scheme. One KISCE will be identified in each state and union territory, with an effort to create a robust sporting ecosystem in the entire country. In the first leg, the Ministry has identified state-owned sports facilities in eight states of India, including, Karnataka, Odisha, Kerala, Telengana and the north east states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland which will be upgraded into Khelo India State Centre of Excellence (KISCE).
Speaking about this initiative of strengthening sporting facilities in the states, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Shri Kiren Rijiju said, “The Khelo India State Centre of Excellence are being established to strengthen India’s pursuit for excellence in Ölympics. Our effort is to scale up the best sporting facilities available in each state in India into academies of world-class standard, where athletes from all over the country will want to train in their specific discipline. The sporting facilities have been identified after in-depth analysis by a government committee. I am confident that this is a step in the right direction to tap talent from across the country and train them into elite athletes who can win medals for the country in all major international tournaments, and specifically the Olympics.”
The process of selection of these sports facilities was started in October 2019, when each state and UT was asked to identify the best sports infrastructure available with them, their agencies or any eligible agencies, which could be developed into a world-class sporting facilities. Of the 15 proposals received and examined, 8 have been shortlisted based on the training facilities available in priority sports, infrastructure facilities and champion produced by the centre.
In order to upgrade the existing centre to the KISCE, the government will extend a ‘Viability Gap Funding’ in sports science and technology support for sports disciplines practiced at the centre and also bridge the gaps in requirement of sports equipment, expert coaches and high performance managers. The support extended will be to Olympic sports, though support can be extended in sports science and allied fields in other sporting disciplines being run in the centre.
The state and UT will run the centre and build capacity to turn it into the world-class sporting facility, and will be responsible for all aspects of management of the centre including, boarding, lodging and maintenance, while funds for critical gaps such as expert coaches, support staff, equipment, infrastructure will be extended through the Khelo India Scheme.
The eight centres will be given a grant based on the actual amount finalised as per the requirement indicated after a comprehensive gap analysis study. In a bid to broad-base talent identification, the states and UTs will also identify and develop talent in each sport for which funding is received at the centre. The Sports Authority of India will extend expertise, resources and a monitoring system to ensure that the level of performance of the athletes improve to international standards.
In the first batch, the following sporting facilities will be upgraded to Khelo India State Centre of Excellence:
Sangey Lhaden Sports Academy, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh
Jaiprakash Narayan National Youth Center, Bangalore, Karanataka
GV Raja Sr. Secondary Sports School, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Khuman Lampak Sports Complex, Imphal, Manipur
Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Aizawl, Mizoram
State Sports Academy, IG Stadium, Kohima, Nagaland
Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha
Regional Sports School, Hakimpet, Telangana.