India: Mandating Sports in Education Curriculum

October 23, 2018


Breaking the monotony of the routine, sports are a source of entertainment, destressing the individuals from their routine activities. Played in numerous forms, varying from those deploying physical activities to the ones involving strategizing instincts, these games have always been a part of the schedule of human life. Internationally also pressure is seen to compete among themselves to prove superiority. These activities inculcate a sense of discipline, self-confidence, time management team building, cooperation of sportsmanship. Then there are international games and events where most of the nations participate. Despite numerous advantages attributable to the sports, there still remains a very limited interest towards it.

Growing concern…

It is very rightly said “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, in the fanatic spree of achieving academic excellence. In India encouragement of sports requires a wider parameter to cover. While the Government is consistently putting in efforts to build up a strong infrastructure for the growth and development of sports in the country, there is still a long way to go to change the stereotypical mindset that such activities are merely recreational and there is no necessity to incorporate them in the regular lifestyle. The neglect of development of passion towards sports activities deprives a child to complete his/ her development.

Finding solutions…

  • The Government launched the Khelo India to revive the sports culture in India at the grass-root level by building a strong framework for all sports played in our country and establish India as a great sporting nation. It can be achieved if all stakeholders – from institutions to authorities and sportspersons work with dedication and missionary zeal.
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (hereinafter referred to as “UNESCO”) had introduced the International Charter of Physical Education and Sports, 1978 which was revised it in 2015 amending in tune with modern day requirements and changing lifestyles. As per the said charter, “Every human being has a fundamental right of access to physical education and sport, which are essential for the full development of his personality. The freedom to develop physical, intellectual and moral powers through physical education and sport must be guaranteed both within the educational system and in other aspects of social life.”
  • A Public Interest Litigation has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking its directions to Centre and States for making sports compulsory in educational curriculum from elementary to higher education and to pronounce right to sports as a part of fundamental rights on the lines of right to education.[1] The apex Court issued notice to Centre, University Grants Commission, National Council of Educational Research and Sports Authority of India requiring their response as to whether sports could be treated as part of fundamental rights to make.

With the increasing awareness about the importance of sports and their deficiency in the academic schedule being detrimental to the students deteriorating the quality of life, there has been an increased concern regarding the overall development of the youth. The aforesaid petition may pave way for sports being a mandatory part of the educational curriculum relying on the principles laid down by the UNSECO. This may not only bring sports as an additional academic course but also foster it as a career option.


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