Brisbane: The Power Ministry has pledged to spend around Rs 140 crore through public sector undertakings under its administration to prepare 100 sports persons for the Olympics in the next 10 years.
The government wants to create good athletes, hockey players, gymnasts, swimmers, etc. The PSUs under the power ministry, particularly the coal companies, have taken it upon themselves as a responsibility to do two things, Power Minister Piyush Goyal told reporters on the sidelines of the India-Australia Energy Dialogue here.
"One is to encourage Indian sports, which have a traditionally Indian flavour like kabbadi, kho-kho and hockey", the minister said, adding that there is a disappointment that a country of 1.25 billion people has not been able to produce good sports persons in large numbers.
"So Coal India has taken upon itself to upgrade, modernise and maintain 14 stadiums in Ranchi (Jharkhand) that were prepared for the national games a few years ago. Central Coalfields has committed nearly Rs 40 crore to upgrade and maintain them.
"Besides, with the Jharkhand government we are planning to set up a national sports university. Swimming, archery, gymnastics, athletics, kabbadi, football, hockey, etc.India is aiming that we should have at least 100 participants in the Olympics in the next 10 years," Goyal said.
India had won six medals, including two silver and four bronze, in the London Olympics in 2012 and the government expects the tally to rise to over 10 this year in the upcoming Rio Olympics In Brazil.
When asked about the contribution to set up the sports university, the minister said: "For university we will put in around Rs 100 crore. Jharkhand government has provided the stadiums and the land for the university, we will put in the money to develop the university."
Goyal said that he also had preliminary discussions with Australian government officials on areas of collaboration between both the countries in sports.
"They are a nation of just 2 crore people and their record in sports is very impressive. We need to follow their example. I have have some preliminary talks with them on sport," he added.
Goyal is leading a high-powered Indian delegation to Australia for the energy dialogue, which includes exploring the state of art technologies in energy production and also ways to enhance business to business collaboration.