On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke in his popular radio programme, Mann Ki Baat, about the importance of developing a healthy sports culture in India.
Modi spoke about the importance of 29 August, the National Sports Day celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of Indian hockey wizard Dhyan Chand and urged the younger generation to detach themselves from technology-driven games on computers and take part in sports. He added that the government will launch a Sports Talent Search Portal to unearth sporting talent in the country.
On Monday, the website was launched by Venkaiah Naidu, the Vice-President of India.
Under this initiative, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) will select prospective talents from all parts of India based on a bio-data or a video uploaded on the portal by the athletes or their coaches or parents and develop them into competitive athletes.
The talent search portal offers admission into 30 disciplines subject to fulfillment of the eligibility criteria and a series of tests.
The website also offers a chance to check the eligibility status before submitting the bio-data/video to the portal. If an athlete meets the minimum requirement, the names of certain SAI centres and training academies are listed for the benefit of the applicants.
One can check the eligibility for any scheme by entering details like Name, Gender, Date of Birth, Sports, Competition Level and Position secured in the Competition in the Check Eligibility link.
In case, an athlete does not meet the requirements, there is relaxation criteria under which one can still apply to the various schemes under 'exemption' citing that they marginally missed the qualification criteria or a 'raw talent'.
Those athletes will then get a chance to visit one of the training centres where their potential will be assessed after a series of tests. Such applications can be made after a circular is issued calling for such athletes by the SAI training centres.
These centres offer a variety of schemes that are both residential and non-residential. For residential schemes, the SAI will assist the trainees to get admission in nearby schools.
Each sport has a distinct series of tests attached to it for selecting the athletes who will be imparted training. For example, in badminton, 'Court-run test', Trunk co-ordination and Flexibility test' and 'Run with the Shuttle cork' are some of the few tests done for selection whereas in the case of football some of the tests are the 'short dribbling test', 'curve-speed test' and 'Explosive strength test'.
An athlete can apply for only one scheme and the application is processed by the training centres, depending on the qualification and eligibility. If an athlete makes the cut, they will be called to the primary training centre selected by the applicant for the selection trials and be assessed by a committee. The results depend on a variety of criteria that includes vacancies in a particular centre and the entire process is expected to take 1-2 months time.
Every applicant is expected to register in the portal before applying and an application can be tracked online. An athlete whose application has been rejected for a scheme can re-apply after six months.
While launching the portal on Monday, Venkaiah Naidu said, "The platform of National Sports Talent Search Portal will be a game changer and enable the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and Sports Authority of India select the best. This initiative will not only help in identifying the best talent, but will also provide a level playing field to all the applicants and create a competitive environment."
Vijay Goel, the sports minister said all the stakeholders, including the Indian Olympic Association and National Sports Federations, should play their roles for the development of Indian sports and hoped the initiative will go a long way in unearthing talented children in the country.
"Today(On Monday), the Vice-President launched the programme. I feel it is great achievement of the sports ministry. There will be transparency in this portal and we will get more talented children through this portal," he added.
Updated Date: Aug 29, 2017 15:06 PM