NEW DELHI: Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday urged states to identify their best sporting infrastructure for the Khelo India State Centre of Excellence (KISCE).
While chairing the first General Council meeting of the Khelo India Scheme, Rijiju addressed officials of state sports departments and other central ministries and said that the centre has already "identified eight states where KISCE will be set up" and "received proposals from 13 states, which are being finalized."
"The KISCE is a great opportunity for states to have a state-of-the-art infrastructure in training senior athletes from all over the country in select sports and excelling in them," said Rijiju at the meeting.
"The Centre is ready to fund and support the states in this, and therefore, I urge every state to urgently identify the infrastructure that they would like to earmark for KISCE."
Rijiju also urged the states to organise state-level Khelo India Games annually with an effort to identify a larger number of grassroot-level talents.
"The annual competitions being organized at the national level under the Khelo India Scheme, like the Khelo India Youth Games and University Games, have helped to identify sporting talent from all states.
"However, that is not enough. Every state can organize annual Khelo India Games to identify grassroot-level talent and to give a larger platform to sporting talent from the state.
"States that already conduct annual sporting competitions can align with the Khelo India Scheme and the Centre will support them in conducting these events.
He said that five zonal talent scouting committees are being planned for east, west, north, south and north east India and asked for active participation of the states in assisting these committees in identifying grassroot-level talent in 24 sporting disciplines.
"Identified talent can then be trained at state government or SAI centers. We need inputs from the state governments in identifying talent," he said. IANS