New Delhi: Sports Minister Jitendra Singh Friday said that the government would set up 25 Centres of Excellence with an aim to make India among the top five sporting nations in the world by 2024. Speaking at the conference of Sports Ministers and Secretaries of States/UTs, Jitendra said he dreamed of an India in which sports is a way of life and "a lucrative career option".
"Sports Authority of India will set up 25 Centres of Excellence or COX across the country. Each COX will specialise in 3 to 4 sports disciplines. The government of India will also set up one Centre of Excellence each of sports medicine and sports coaching," he said.
Jitendra said that his aim was to see India among the first 10 sporting nations in the world by 2020 and among top five by 2024. He also said that the PYKKA programme will be revamped under which sports complexes will be built at the block level across the country.
"My Ministry is working towards revamping PYKKA. The big difference in the revised PYKKA will be at block level. The central government will give states the funds to create a full sports complex. There will be football grounds, athletic tracks, courts for volleyball, basketball, badminton, kho-kho, kabaddi etc," said Jitendra.
"Each complex will have an indoor hall for contact sports and some other popular sports of the region. Each such complex will cost Rs. 1.75 crore. The fund will come out of PYKKA, the Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF), the Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR), the Integrated Area Plan (IAP) and MG-NREGA," he said, adding that "close to 6500 such complexes will be built across the country, which will cost 11,000 crores," he added. .