Asian Games and Khelo India Scheme fund controversy. Know more..

The 19th Asian Games was held in Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China from September 23 to October 8, 2023. Around 12,000 athletes from all 45 members of the Olympic Council of Asia participated in nine sports including archery, artistic swimming, boxing, breaking, hockey, modern pentathlon, sailing, tennis and water polo.

India sent 655 athletes from 26 states and 5 union territories, highest ever by the country to the Asian Games 2023. Haryana (89) and Maharashtra (73) account for the most number of athletes. India finishes with 107 medals, 28 of them gold, 38 silver and 41 bronze. Haryana, Punjab and Maharashtra tops medal tally.

After the Asian Games 2023, some of the social media users are found comparing the number of medals per state with the fund allotted through Khelo India scheme for each state. To be more specific, the comparison was between Gujarat’s medal tally with other states including Tamil Nadu and Haryana quoting the fund allotted through Khelo India scheme to these states.

The posts claimed that the medal winners from Haryana is 44, Tamil Nadu is 17, but Gujarat is 0 despite Gujarat receiving funds of Rs.608 crore, the highest under Khelo India Scheme where as Haryana received Rs.89 crore, which is only 15% of what Gujarat received and Tamil Nadu received Rs.33 crore, which is even lesser.

What is Khelo India Scheme?

The existed schemes of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan (RGKA), Urban Sports Infrastructure Scheme (USIS) and National Sports Talent Search Scheme (NSTSS) are merged into a single scheme ‘Khelo India’ in 2016 and was launched in October 2017.

Khelo India Scheme is aimed to encourage mass participation and promotion of excellence in sports. The programme is divided into 12 verticals to accomplish the twin objectives.

  • State Level Khelo India Centres
  • Annual Sports Competition
  • Talent Search and Development
  • Utilization and Creation/Upgradation of Sports
  • Support to National/ Regional/State Sports Academics
  • Physical fitness of school children
  • Sports for Women
  • Promotion of Sports amongst people with disabilities
  • Sports for Peace and Development
  • Promotion of rural and indigenous/ tribal games

These 12 components are condensed into following 5 components.

  • Creation and Upgradation of Sports Infrastructure
  • Sports Competitions and Talent Development
  • Khelo India Centres and Sports Academies
  • Fit India Movement
  • Promotion of Inclusiveness through Sports

Scheme Highlights

Talented players identified in priority sports disciplines at various levels by the High-Powered Committee will be provided annual financial assistance of INR 5 lakh per annum for 8 years.

The Games have seen a participation of over 20,000 athletes, with close to 3,000 athletes identified as Khelo India Athletes (KIAs) who are currently training at Khelo India Academies, revamped Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centers, and are given an Out of Pocket Allowance of ₹10,000 per month, besides being supported for training, equipment, diet and education.

Rural and indigenous/tribal games namely Mallakhamb, Kalaripayattu, Gatka, Thang-Ta, Yogasana and Silambam have been identified under ‘Promotion of rural and indigenous/tribal games’ component of Khelo India Scheme

The Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG), the Khelo India University Games (KIUG) and the Khelo India Winter Games are set up as annual national sports competitions under Khelo India movement.

Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) 2023 medal table is topped by Maharashtra, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh with the total of 161, 128 and 96 medals respectively. Tamil Nadu is at 8th place in the list with 52 medals and Gujarat is at 15th place with 20 medals.

Khelo India University Games (KIUG) 2023 medal table is topped by Panjab University, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar and Karnataka’s Jain University with a total of 69, 68 and 32 medals respectively.

Khelo India Winter Games 2023 medal table is topped by Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh with a total of 76, 27 and 31 medals respectively. Haryana secured a total of 31 medals, Tamil Nadu secured 14 and Gujarat secured 6 medals.

Khelo India – Funding

This scheme is 100% funded by the Centre and it will be a Central Sector Scheme. State wise budget allocation is not made and projects are sanctioned based on their viability. Funds are released project wise.

Khelo India scheme sanctioned a sum of Rs.2716 crore and released a sum of Rs.1512.89 crore for the infrastructure projects from 2016-17 to 2022-23 for around 293 projects as of March 2023. Tamil Nadu received a total of Rs.13 crore from the sanctioned amount of Rs.33 crore for 5 projects. Haryana received a total of Rs.61.86 crore from the sanctioned amount of Rs.82.33 crore for 9 projects.

Gujarat received a sum of Rs. 305.38 crore from the sanctioned amount of Rs.606.37 crore for 5 projects. However, Rs. 583.99 crore out of the sanctioned amount belong to one project: ‘Construction of sports complex at Naranpura District, Ahmedabad’. This project is said to be of olympics level sports complex.

The Times of India reported in February 2021 that the sports complex in Naranpura will have an Olympic-size athletics track, eight tennis courts including one court for international tennis matches along with two swimming pools for olympic events and a special track and field facility.

“The Sardar Patel sports enclave, along with the cricket stadium and the sports complex in Naranpura will help Ahmedabad bid for international sporting events like the Olympics, as they are within 50km of each other,” said Union Minister Amit Shah at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave at Motera in February 2021.



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