Series of National Seminars on
“Evolving Sports Culture in India: Challenges and Prospects”
Held on October 19, 2019
at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Ghaziabad
Courtesy: Sports A Way of Life
Background of the Seminar:
Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Ghaziabad were privileged to organize the first of the Series of National Seminars on “Evolving Sports Culture in India: Challenges and Prospects”. The national sports seminar was organized at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on Saturday, 19th Oct 2019 with an aim to evolve sports culture in India and encourage participation of upcoming generation, especially school children for their holistic development. The event has achieved its booming success with a lot of accomplished former Olympians, academicians, social activists and bureaucrats largely focused on bringing harmony between academics and sports. All the speakers have shown their great concern on how to develop sports culture in the country.
The keynote address was delivered by Prof. Ashish K. Bhattacharya, Director, IMT, Ghaziabad. He enlightened the audience by asking them to not only think about playing sports professionally, but also as a medium to enhance the body and the mind. He has informed that to develop and disseminate sports culture a Centre for Sports Research is established at IMT, Ghaziabad. Its main objective is to take the sports movement above and beyond the horizon. He opines that with the stalwarts of Sports and Academia agreeing on the fact that with sports complementing academics, India would observe a growth in more employable citizens with inclusion values. Sports being a “Healer and Unifier” would help in analytical thinking as well as boost memory by increasing concentration. He said that it is one thing to play and lose, but sports teach us that success and failure are parts of life and what is more important is to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and go on to play again and agin with a renewed zeal. He mentioned that that sport are the true remedy for releasing stress among the management students.
Core Theme Paper:
Mr. Kanishka Pandey, Head Sports Research Centre, IMT Ghaziabad and President, Sports-A Way of Life presented the core theme paper, in which he recommended the ‘carrot and stick policy‘ for parents to develop sports aptitude in their children, before they go to kindergarten class. While addressing the gathering, Mr Pandey said, ‘There is no favourable environment for sports in our country. It is a very serious matter that the country with a population of 125 crores, won just two medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics. We got one silver medal in the 2004 Olympics, three medals, including gold in 2008 and six in 2012, which did not include a single gold medal and bagged just two medals in 2016. I think these performances show that we need to improve in sports,’ he added.
Talking about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Fit India campaign and Khelo India initiative, he said, ‘Mr Modi has a big policy for sports. He has recently started campaigns like Khelo India and Fit India India. But it can’t be successful overnight. We need to change our mindset towards sports to achieve more success in future. He has emphasized on various physical and mental benefits of sports, as well as the advantages of embedding a person with 16 values through sports, including discipline, decision-making and leadership, among others.
He further suggested a few questions such as, ‘Can your child identify sports?’ or ‘Which sports does your child take interest in?’He was of the firm opinion that the compulsory inclusion of such type of questions in admission forms will help in the following ways:
- It will make it obligatory for the parents to teach or at least make sure they generate the interest of their children in sports.
- The parents would know that if they don’t give basic sports knowledge to their children, someone else might give and may result in their children not being admitted in schools of their choice.
- It will have an everlasting impact on the psyche of young kids when they will be given equal information about alphabets, numerals and sports.
- The seeds of the importance of sports will get implanted by the parents right from the beginning of formative years of the child.
He further explained that in this way the mindset of the future generation can be transformed and we would have taken a small but firm step towards bringing back the sports culture in India.
While concluding his speech he came out with very valid outcomes of his research, which may be summarized as under:
- In India Sports illiteracy is the major reason behind poor performance in Olympics.
- There is dearth of sports culture in India.
- India always had a way of life which where sports was a part of education and was considered essential for holistic development of a complete man.
- There is an urgent need to revive sports culture in India.
- Sports culture will go a long way in taking advantage of demographic dividend and will generate better human resources and will uplift the talent pool, hence, hike the medals tally.
- Sports can be revived by adopting the policy of carrot and stick.
Mr. Kanishka Pandey recommended the ‘carrot and stick policy’ for parents to develop sports aptitude in their children, before they go to kindergarten class. Salient points of the concept of ‘Carrot’ and ‘Stick’ may be summarized as follows:
By ‘carrot’ he meant:
- Circulation of Appeals, Organizing talks, Lectures, telling the parents about the positive impact sports will have on their children .
- Using former and current sportspersons to deliver motivational talks.
- Teachers should mention the positives of sports in students diary for parents.
- Booklets like Khel Praveshika and Know Sports should be circulated not only in Schools, but also in maternity wards of hospitals as a gift to parents for the new born.
- Advertisements and circulation of messages regarding the positives through print &electronic media.
And the ‘Stick’ covers:
Making compulsory ‘mention of questions on sports’ in admission forms. To clarify the idea Mr. Pandey suggested a few questions:
- Which sport training did you provide to your child?
- Can your child identify sports etc?
- Which sports does your child take interest in?
Mr. Kanishka Pandey suggested that if the Govt. makes it obligatory for schools to include sports in their admission forms, it will, with one stroke change the picture.
Address of Chief Guest:
Professor Ved Prakash , Former Chairman of UGC and Chief Guest of seminar said that it is a misconception that sports and education are contradictory in nature, but both of these are complimentary. He did a deep analysis of the core theme paper presented by Mr. Kanishka Pandey and said that Kanishka has very eloquently reflected on the significance of sports culture in our country, Sports and education stand in stark opposition to each other in India. Kanishka has rightly raised the requirement to bring about the attitudinal change. Only thing we require is an attitudinal change in the society. Unfortunately the pace of change in attitude is very slow in our country.
Comments on Theme Paper:
Former Olympian Mr. Zafar Iqbal endorsed the point raised by Mr. Kanishka Pandey that the sports can progress, only when these are seen at par with studies. He congratulated him for his unique work. He was also of the opinion that players should not take any pressure of gold medal as the gold is to be won only by one team or an individual. Mr. Zafar Iqbal said that sport is such type of medicine which has the potential to change the psyche of human beings.
Professor Kailash Sodani ,Vice Chancellor , Govind Guru Tribal University said that he chaired a high level committee, set up after Kanishka’s concept and he was happy that sports philosophy has been accepted as a compulsory subject in many Universities of Rajasthan. He said that today the environment has changed. We are getting away from the sports. He emphasized that the objective of sports should not be winning a medal, but the key benefit is the issue of health. This can prevent the large budget being spent on medicines.
Mr. Gopal Saini , former Indian middle distance runner, holds the current national record in 3000 meters Steeplechase which is unbeaten till date, praised Mr. Kanishka Pandey’s research work and said that there is a need of development of world-level infrastructure in our country. The plight of sports in the country is a matter of concern.
Dr. Vijay Shankar Pandey, Former Secretary, Government of India and senior IAS officer, said this was a very relevant idea by Mr. Kanishka, which emphasizes on running studies and sports together.
Shri M.P. Singh, former Olympic Hockey player and Arjuna Award winner said that he agrees with Kanishka that we should not confine game only to winning medals but we also need to bring out sports values learnt in sports field to the outside world, where it could be used for finding solutions to various social problems.
Shri Ram Chandra, Padma Shri Athlete was also present on the occasion. He praised the core theme paper by Mr. Kanishka Pandey and said that it is a call of the hour that Sports should be made culture in India to increase the sports talent bank and to create national and international players. To achieve this end, we need to first tackle the negative approach of the parents and we need to change this into positive approach towards the game.
Outcomes & Suggestions:
A lot of things have come out of this seminar, many figures have come out here which have underlined -how important it is to recognize sports in India as Human Resource Development activity. The seminar successfully covered the 3 important aspects.
- Evolving sports culture in India
- The Challenges ahead
- Future prospects
One of the speakers shared his observation that the introduction of semester system in education has left little time for the students for sports and other co-curricular activities. They remain busy throughout the semester to finish the courses of study followed by an examination.
Another observation was that the social and economic inequalities hurt Indian sports. The denial of access to sports infrastructure due to poverty, the concentration of stadiums and other sports avenues only in cities, lack of encouragement to girls to participate in sports, etc, have impaired the development of a positive sports culture in the nation with the potential to prove.
It was also discussed that the revamped Khelo India Programme would impact the entire sports ecosystem, including infrastructure, community sports, talent identification, coaching for excellence, competition structure and sports economy, if done with the honesty of purpose without corruption and favouritism to anyone anywhere and everywhere. It needs to be noted that despite the several measures taken by the Government of India, the sports ecosystem is of poor quality in the nation with potential for excellence. For a country of over 130 crores, the existing sports infrastructure is not up to satisfactory levels.
Speakers also highlighted the fact that we have not given prominent space to sports in our culture as we believe that sports have been spoiler and a big impediment to career growth. Thus we always discourage our children from participating in sports or athletic activity. This concept needs to be changed. Our strategy should be to approach parents. If they get convinced only then can a child be allowed to take active sports at later stage.
Speakers also appreciated the ‘carrot and stick policy’ for parents to develop sports aptitude in their children, before they go to kindergarten class. The ‘carrot and stick policy’ was the basis of the core theme paper presented by Mr. Kanishka Pandey.
Vote of Thanks:
In the end, Dr. S.C. Kulshreshtha, Chairman, Shri Ram Group of Colleges extended a very hearty ‘vote of thanks’ to all speakers and delegates for sharing their findings and opinions. He acclaimed Mr. Kanishka Pandey as a budding researcher and metaphorically figured his research work as the first of its kind academic work on sports that lays emphasis on national character building through sports.
He applauded, “Today Mr. Kanishka has delivered his speech by heart. His entire speech was full of radical and innovative ideas. This is a speech from the heart that has touched our hearts”. In the end Dr. Kulshreshtha did not fail to mention his thankfulness towards being backed by a team of very motivated and dedicated colleagues of IMT Ghaziabad. He thanked to Mr. Zafar Iqbal, Prof. Ved Prakash, Mr. Kailash Sodani, Mr. Gopal Saini, Mr. Vijay Shankar Pandey, Mr. Sriram Singh and Mr. Mohinder Pal Singh, to have graced the stage and sharing their wisdom and experiences with the enthralled audience. He said that this Series of Seminars is being conducted to find out ways in which sports culture can be revived in our country. The main aim is to increase the Sports Literacy of India from 5.56% by focusing on the values which are inculcated in a person through sports. This will produce a better equipped Human Resource and increase the medals tally at the Olympics, as a by-product of the increased Sports Literacy.
Event in the Eye of Media:
The seminar also made headlines in the media world.
Newspaper HT wrote: “Seminar on ways of developing sports culture organized at IHC”. Another reputed newspaper Millennium Post printed the report prominently with the title: “IMT organizes National Seminar on Evolving Sports Culture in India”.
The general views of media portray that the national sports seminar was first of its kind. The objective behind the seminar was highlighted by the print media. Media persons wrote that the seminar aimed to evolve sports culture in India and encourage participation of young children, especially school students in sports-related activities, while seriously considering a career in sports. Media gave emphasis on the first research paper presented by Mr. Kanishka Pandey, president of Sports-A way of life, in which he recommended the ‘carrot and stick policy’ for parents to develop sports aptitude in their children, before they go to kindergarten class.
Further Path Way:
Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Ghaziabad felt privileged to jointly organize the first seminar of the Series of National Seminars on “Evolving Sports Culture in India: Challenges and Prospects”. Since this seminar was a part of the series of National Seminars, the organizers look forward to reconvene, to discuss another topical theme affecting the world of Sports.
Series of National Seminars for Evolving Sports Culture in India:
Challenges and Prospects
Webinar on Sports: A Stimulus to Education
(In Collaboration with IMT Hyderabad)
Courtesy: Sports: A Way of Life
Due to Pandemic, a webinar was organized instead of a seminar on 12th December 2020. The core idea, as propounded by Dr. Kanishka Pandey (Head- Sports Research Centre, IMT Ghaziabad) was how inclusion of Sports in our education system can be a blessing in disguise for our population. Dr. Pandey also touched upon how it can help solve problem of growing depression cases in India and how even problems like failing startups can be resolved to some extent. The idea was to give a generalized overview of system of education in India bereft of Sports and how various issues can tackled by including it in our education system.
List of Speakers:
- Keynote Address by Dr. Subhajit Bhattacharyya- Director, IMT Ghaziabad.
- Speaker 1: Dr. Kanishka Pandey- Head- Sports Research Centre- IMT Ghaziabad.
- Speaker 2: Mr. Zafar Iqbal- Padma Shree, Arjuna Award in Hockey, Former Captain, Indian Hockey Team.
- Valedictory Address by Dr. k Sriharsha Reddy- Dean, IMT Hyderabad.
The Session was very well appreciated and was attended by almost 600 people.
Evolving Sports Culture in India