Aim to turn India into a top sporting nation by 2047: Union Minister Amit Shah

Bengaluru, May 3 (PTI) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said the Central government intends to turn India into a sporting nation to see to it that it ranks among the top five countries in terms of sports by 2047 when the country celebrates its centenary year of independence.

He also said initiatives like Khelo India and Fit India were aimed at achieving the goal of India becoming a top sports nation.

“We want India to be among the top five countries in terms of sports by 2047 when we celebrate 100 years of our independence,” Shah said at the closing ceremony of the Khelo India University Games here which saw the participation of 3,900 athletes from 208 universities from across India.

We are moving towards making India a sports nation. Along with it we are building sports infrastructure, sports science centres, community coaching facilities, arranging international level coaches and organising annual sports events, Shah explained.

He said the country never fared well in sports other than cricket, which made Prime Minister Narendra Modi to work on this issue in a planned manner with an aim to make India a top sporting nation by 2047.

The efforts made in this direction resulted in India winning many medals in the Olympics and Paralympics, which had never happened in the past, the Home Minister pointed out.

Speaking about KIUG-2021, which was supposed to happen last year but was held this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shah said in 2020, the KIUG was held in Odisha, where 3,100 athletes from 138 universities participated but in KIUG-2021 the number increased to 3,900 athletes from 208 universities, which shows the popularity of the games among universities.

Hailing the Jain Deemed To Be University, which was one of the key organisers of the games and won maximum medals this year, Shah called upon its chancellor Chenraj Jain for a tie-up with the largest stadium in the world in Gujarat Narendra Modi Stadium to use the facility for promoting sports.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Sports Anurag Thakur hailed the Karnataka government and Jain University for organising the event, which he felt was on par with international level university games.

A cultural event along with an impressive yoga performance marked the valedictory of KIUG-2021.