The National Sports University Bill 2018 was introduced by Mr Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, then Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports and was passed by the Lok Sabha on the 3rd August 2018, replacing the National Sports University Ordinance 2018. This Act seeks to establish a National Sports University in Manipur to enhance the country’s standing in sports. It aims at promoting sports education in areas of sports coaching, sports technology and research. The University would offer a bachelors degree in sports management and sports science and would function as a national training centre for select sports, adopting international practises and standards. Mr Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore also introduced the Khelo India Programme with a view to improve and encourage sports and physical education in India. As of 2019, The National Sports University, Manipur is the first and only central University in India focusing on sports education.
CENTRAL THEME OF THE ACT
The Act’s central theme is to promote sports education in the fields of sports sciences, sports management, sports technology and sports coaching by establishing a National Sports University in Manipur that would offer high standards of education. The main objectives of this Act are:
- To evolve as an institute of advanced study in physical education and sports science through research and development.
- To strengthen sports training and physical education by offering academic and training programmes to promote sports, including traditional and tribal sports.
- To provide professional and academic leadership in the field of physical education and sports sciences.
- To provide the infrastructure of international standards for education, training and research in the fields of sports science and sports training.
FEATURES OF THE ACT
- The University is to be headquartered in the State of Manipur, and it can establish Campuses, Colleges, Regional Centres and Study Centres at such other places in India or abroad.
- The National Sports University will have the following authorities:
- Members of the Executive Council, who will be responsible for the administrative affairs of the university. The council would comprise of the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor, elected by the Central Government.
- The Academic and Activity Council, which will supervise academic policies.
- The Court, which will review policies and suggest measures for improvement.
- The University Fund would be comprised of:
- any contribution or grant made by the University Grants Commission or the Central Government,
- any contribution or grant made by the State Government,
- any contribution made by Government, semi-Government or autonomous bodies,
- any loans, gifts, bequests, donations, endowments or other grants, if any,
- Income received by the University from fees and charges.
- An annual report to be made with the directions of the Executive Council which shall include steps taken by the University for the fulfilment of its objectives and to be submitted to the court. The court would thereon submit that report to the central government and its comment if any, and that would be laid before the House of Parliament.
- The Central Government may from time to time, appoint people to review the work and progress of the University, including Campuses, Colleges, Institutions, Regional Centres and Study Centres maintained by it, and to submit a report.
- Any student or candidate who has a grievance against the University may appeal to the Executive Council to review the decision. Any dispute arising out the University’s disciplinary against a student can be referred to a Tribunal of Arbitration. Disputes between an employee and the University may also be referred to a Tribunal of Arbitration.
- The schedule to the Act contains the statues. These statues specify the composition, establishment, powers of the Chancellor, Vice-chancellor, Academic and Activity council, the quorum for the council meetings etc. The Executive Council can add, amend, or repeal any of these statues provided they have the approval of the Central Government.
BENEFITS OF THIS ACT
The importance of this Act is that it provides a medium for talented sportsmen to establish their career in sports through a recognised university that provides standardised sports education. It benefits the students by giving them quality education and professional leadership. Students get the opportunity to participate in various tournaments and competitions with established associations, both on a national and international level. This Act trains professional athletes in accordance with international levels and aims to make India a sporting power. Mary Kom, a renowned boxer and a member of the parliament, had shown support to this bill and believed that it would help Manipur with sports education.
Indian government realised the importance of sports education as a part of youth development as early as 1984. It formed the National Sports Policy, which made sports education an integral part of the education system. The National Sports University Act will give rise to elite sportsmen who have been trained in sports education, sports technology and sport coaching by international standards. It will serve as a centre of excellence for the elite and talented students of all sports and games. It is indeed a significant step to improve the sport eminence in India.