ENHANCES AWARDS FOR SPORTSPERSONS IN RECOGNITION OF EXCELLENCE IN NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCES
In a major initiative to promote sports among youth, the Punjab Cabinet led by Captain Amarinder Singh gave in-principle approval to the new Sports Policy-2018, authorizing the Chief Minister to decide on the matter of issuing separate guidelines for recruitment under the Sports quota.
Underlining the need to ‘catch them young’ to groom budding players, the Chief Minister said the state government was committed to continuing with 3% reservation in all jobs of state Government, as well as in its Boards, Corporations, Cooperative/Statutory bodies and local authorities for graded sportspersons who are residents of Punjab and have represented the state at national level.
The Cabinet also decided to enhance the existing amount cash award to sportspersons in recognition of their outstanding performance at various national and international tournaments/championships.
In case of Olympic/Paralympics Games, held once in four years, the existing cash award of Rs.1.01 crore has been increased to Rs.1.50 crore for Silver medalists and Rs.51 lakh to Rs.1 crore for Bronze medalists, whereas the cash award of Rs.2.25 crore for Gold medalists remains unchanged.
In Asian/Para Asian Games held once in four years, the existing cash award of Rs.26 lakh has been enhanced to Rs.1 crore for Gold medal, Rs.16 lakh to Rs.75 lakh for Silver and Rs.11 lakh to Rs.50 lakh for Bronze medal. Similarly, in Official World Cup/Championship, held every four years, the existing cash prize has been increased from Rs.21 lakh to Rs.80 lakh for Gold medal, Rs.11 lakh to Rs.55 lakh for Silver and Rs.7 lakh to Rs.45 lakh for Bronze medal. In Commonwealth Games/Para Commonwealth Games, held once in four years, the sportsperson who clinches Gold medal would now get enhanced cash award of Rs. 75 lakh from the earlier Rs.16 lakh, Rs.50 lakh for Silver from existing Rs.11 lakh and Rs.40 lakh for Bronze from Rs.6 lakh.
Besides, the Gold medalist in World University Games/Championships would get cash award of Rs. 7 lakh, Rs.5 lakh for Silver and Rs.3 lakh for Bronze. The cash prize money for winning Gold medal in SAF Games/Afro Asian Games and National Games/Para National Games would be Rs.5 lakh, Rs. 3 lakh for Silver and Rs.2 lakh for Bronze.
In All India Inter-University Tournament/Championship, National School Games/Khelo India School Games and National Women Sports Festival/National Level Khelo India Tournament, the Gold medal winner would get cash award of Rs.50,000, Rs.30,000 for Silver and Rs.20,000 for Bronze. Similarly, the Gold medal winner would get Rs. 40,000 as cash award, Rs.20,000 for Silver and Rs.15,000 for Bronze in Senior National Championships organized by National Sports Bodies, held once a year.
Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said the new policy would help involve the state’s youth in sports and physical activities. Besides, it would also be instrumental in building talent and excellence of sportspersons so as to enable them to bring laurels to the state at various national and international levels while participating in different sports competitions.
Pertinently, the Sports and Youth Services Department had formulated its Sports Policy in 2010. Since then lot of changes in the area of sports have taken place, necessitating change in the policy.
Listing the salient features of the new sports policy, the spokesperson said the policy provides for clear vision and goals, identifiable objectives and way forward for implementation. It categorizes games into high potential games and potential games, with the objective of paying focused attention to high potential games. The policy also aims at involving young children at an early age in the sports and physical activities, and intends to start sports activities in schools, colleges and universities, besides incentivizing Universities with higher achievements.
The policy also envisages the strengthening of existing Sports infrastructure and adding more such facilities at the district and sub divisional levels. In addition, it also aims to set up at least one play field in one village in each block. The policy also intends to encourage private partnership in improvement and setting up green field sports infrastructure in Punjab and for attracting NRIs in this area.
For managing career in sports, the Policy provides for financial assistance to Medal winners, through Maharaja Ranjit Singh Award and Scholarship and Pension Scheme. It also provides for employment incentives to sportspersons, and aims at developing human resources in terms of coaches and departmental officials by way of financial incentives, training, reservation in admission in different colleges and universities. Besides creating a centre of excellence, the policy also purposes to set up state sports university at Patiala.
Highlighting the new components of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh award, which is an expression of appreciation and gratitude of the state to the medal winners for winning laurels for the state and country, the spokesperson said that under the new policy, top 20 players and one differently abled player, who have won medal and participated in various international level tournaments and have been graded on a scale of 100 points as per the guidelines, will be selected every year.
All Padma, Arjuna and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratana Awardees, who were sportspersons of Punjab, would be automatically eligible for awards in addition to the select 20 players. Maharaja Ranjit Singh Awardee shall get Rs.5 lakh as cash award with Trophy and Blazer, and would be entitled to health insurance cover of Rs.1 lakh per year for indoor treatment for five years.
In addition, the state Government would also provide financial support as pension to veteran players who have won a medal at various international tournaments or championships, and have attained age of 40 years and are not employed or have an annual income of Rs. 6 lac or more per annum. This pension would be in addition to any sports pension being provided by the Central Government or any other agency except a pension as retired government employee by any government, in which case he would not be eligible for pension. The State Government would grant pension of Rs. 15,000 per month to a medal winner in Olympics, Rs. 7500 per month to a medal winner in Asian/Commonwealth games and World Games, Rs. 5,000 per month for national games medal winners, who have won at least two medals in last five national games.
In order to motivate the coaches, cash award would be given to those who have trained players who win medals in Olympics, World Championships, Asian and Commonwealth Games. Such coaches, who have trained at least for one year and whose trained players win medals would be given cash award equivalent to 40% of the cash award, which the player shall be entitled to under this policy. In case of multiple players winning medals in events other than team events who have been trained by a coach, for every additional medal, the coach would be entitled to 20% of the cash award to which the additional players are entitled to. In case of team events the coach will be entitled to the same amount of cash award as a single player as team member is entitled to.