In a major initiative to cater to the back-up mechanism of athletes' overall performance, the government on Saturday announced the establishment of National Institute of Sports Science and Medicine at a cost of Rs 200 crore.
Sports minister Ajay Maken in his customary press conference said that with the establishment of NISSM at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, which would be modelled on China Institute of Sports Sciences, the country will have an international standard facility for sports medicine which has been long overdue.
"The NISSM will aim at fostering the much needed disciplines of Physiology, Psychology, Nutrition, Biochemistry, Biomedical, Anthropometry and Sports Medicine, with the purpose of providing cutting edge excellence to Indian Sports and athletes," Maken said.
"Without development in sports sciences, India would never become a sporting country. It is an important back-up system for our athletes to win medals in top international events," he said.
"The institute, which will function under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, will come up at an area of 2,50,000 to 4,00,000 sq ft," he added.
He said the decision to establish the institute had reached the final shape after more than a year's contact with their Chinese counterparts, including his recent visit to that country after his predecessor M S Gill did the same last year.
Maken said the NISSM will first be registered as Society under Societies Registration Act by November 1 and could be upgraded later as an Institute of National Importance under an Act of Parliament. It would be established at the estimated cost of Rs 200 crore.
Apart from this, Rs 100 crore will be provided for strengthening the existing Sports Science and Medicine infrastructure at various SAI Centres and augmenting linkages with them.
"It will be leading Institute in the country to support high performance sportspersons and integrate sports science and medicine into the training of elite sportspersons and into the teaching curriculum of sports coaching in the country. It will provide evaluation, assessment and performance related advice to sportspersons and take up high quality research in the field of sports sciences and sports medicine," Maken said.
The institute will also develop accreditation and certification benchmarks for physical trainers, conditioning experts, masseurs, nutritionists, physiotherapists, sports psychologists and sports analysts, besides providing certification and testing services of food supplements and nutraceuticals to further support anti-doping measures.
The institute would be headed by a director, equivalent to a vice-chancellor of a Central University. A Search Committee will be appointed to identify and recommend the name of the person to head the institute. The NISSM will work in close partnership with national and international partners from UK, USA, China, Australia, Germany, Korea and South Africa.
Maken said the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium will be developed as a football hub and a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed with the All India Football Federation later this week to develop a grass pitch there.
"JLN Stadium New Delhi will be developed as a football hub and the stadium with specialised grass pitch in its central area," Maken said.
To this effect SAI will sign a MoU with the AIFF on October 5 in the presence of Maken and AIFF President Praful Patel.
The MoU will provide for AIFF laying the turf and using the stadium for 40 days in a year for hosting of international tournaments, national tournaments and coaching camps and clinics. The Ministry has also given "in principle" approval to the proposal of AIFF to host the South Asian Football Federation Championships from December 2-12 at JLN stadium.
Maken also said that after the successful launch of the Come and Play Scheme at the SAI stadiums here, which has witnessed more than 12,000 children and sports lovers benefiting, it has been decided to launch the COP scheme nationally on October 9.
"Having tested the success of the scheme here in Delhi, the same is being replicated across the nation through all the regional/sub-centres/institutions/STCs and SAG Centres of Sports Authority of India (SAI)," he said.