Standing Committee Report Summary
The National Sports University Bill, 2017
- The Standing Committee on Human Resource Development (Chairperson: Dr. Satyanarayan Jatiya) submitted its report on the National Sports University Bill, 2017 on January 5, 2018. The Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on August 10, 2017 and subsequently referred to the Standing Committee on Human Resource Development. It seeks to establish and incorporate a National Sports University in Manipur to promote sports education in the areas of (i) sports sciences, (ii) sports technology, (iii) sports management, and (iv) sports coaching. It will also function as the national training centre for select sports.
- Location considerations: The headquarters of the National Sports University will be in Manipur. However, it may establish or maintain outlying campuses, colleges, and regional centres at other places in India. The Committee endorsed the setting up of outlying campuses of the University in different parts of the country and also abroad. The Committee noted that as the University is being established in north-eastern India, measures need to be taken with regard to travel in order to reduce any locational disadvantage to the students and sportspersons.
- Resource requirements: As per the Department of Sports, resources and funds will be arranged for meeting the increased reach of the National Sports University and outlying campuses in the future. In this context, the Committee expressed concerns about the resources that the University needs and the availability of adequate funds. The Committee recommended that it be ensured that the funds are rightfully utilised. Further, the Committee also stated that the University should be able to generate its own resources to meet or supplement its requirements. It also suggested that the University should also explore other resources through Corporate Social Responsibility from the corporate sector.
- Giving effect to Khelo India Scheme: The Committee noted that ‘Khelo India’ is one of the flagship schemes of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. It aims to identify and train sporting talent, and build sports infrastructure across the country. One of the components of this scheme is ‘Talent Search and Development’. The Committee noted that the National Sports University will be of immense help to the Ministry in prescribing procedures and standards for talent identification. The University may function as the training centre for select sport disciplines, identify the talented sportspersons, and groom them under ‘Khelo India’.
- Autonomy of the University: Under the Bill, the central government will review the work and progress of the University. For this purpose, the central government may appoint one or more persons to conduct the review and submit a report. The Committee noted that this provision may lead to unnecessary interference in the affairs of the University and affect its autonomy. The Committee observed that the University should have autonomy over its functioning and related matters. The Committee recommended that this provision of review needs to be in line with other central universities and should not hamper with the autonomy of the University (for activities such as the freedom to decide the courses and the degrees to be conferred).
- Infrastructure in the outlying campuses: Under the Bill, outlying campuses, colleges, and regional centres may be set up at other places in India. The Committee recommended that the outlying campuses should be established in different regions in the country which are hubs of different sports. For example, hockey and wrestling are popular in Punjab and Haryana, and archery and shooting in Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand. The Committee recommended providing adequate infrastructure, coaching, and other facilities to the sportspersons playing the sports there. Further, it recommended that some incentives should be given so that world class coaches may be attracted to take faculty position at the University in these outlying campuses. The Committee also suggested that the University should use information and technology to provide online courses to students in other parts of the country.
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