News Desk: Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju chaired the 1st General Council meeting of the Khelo India Scheme. On August 4 he addressed officials of state sports departments and other central ministries. He urged the states to organize State-level Khelo India Games annually. He urged states to identify a larger number of grassroot-level talents.
The meeting was attended by Sports Secretary Ravi Mittal. Sandip Pradhan the Director-General of SAI and other senior officials also attended the meeting.
Rijiju said that Centre should organize annual competition under Khelo India Scheme. Such competition will help to identify sporting talents from all states. Khelo India Youth Games and University Games are also an important aspect of Khelo India Scheme.
Every state should organize annual Khelo India Games to identify grassroot-level talents. This will give sportsperson a larger platform to perform and practice.
Rijiju also invited states to align with the Khelo India Scheme. The Centre will give full support to states in conducting events.
The Sports Minister also spoke about the importance of identifying grassroot –level talents. He also pointed out the importance of identifying talents as young as 5-10 years old. To make India a sporting superpower, the young talents needs to be groomed well.
It takes at least 8 years to groom an athlete for the Olympics.
The Minister also spoke of the 5 zonal talent scouting committees planned for east, west, north, south and northeast India. Rijiju urged the states for their active participation in assisting these committees.
The Minister also stressed on the need for states to identify their best sporting infrastructure. States must identify the best sporting feature for the Khelo India State Centre of Excellence (KISCE).
The Centre has already identified 8 states where KISCE will be set up. The Ministry has also received proposals from 13 States. KISCE is a great opportunity for states to have a state-of-the-art infrastructure.
Rijiju also said that the Centre is ready to fund and support the states.