44th Chess Olympiad

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    • Recently, the Prime Minister declared the 44th Chess Olympiad at JLN Indoor Stadium, Chennai.

    About 44th Chess Olympiad

    • This is the first time the Chess Olympiad is being held in the place of origin of chess, India.
      • It is coming to Asia for the first time in 3 decades.
      • It has the highest ever number of countries participating.
      • It has the highest ever number of teams participating.
      • It has the highest number of entries in the women’s section.
      • The first ever Torch Relay of the Chess Olympiad started this time.
    • Tamil Nadu has a strong historical connection with chess.
      • This is why it is a chess powerhouse for India.
      • It has produced many of India’s chess grandmasters.
      • It is home to the finest minds, vibrant culture and the oldest language in the world, Tamil.

    Sports Sector in India 

    • It comprises media rights, apparel, sports nutrition, sports equipment etc as an industry is likely to go up five times to reach a value of $100 billion by 2027 from $27 billion in 2020.
    • The Indian sports media market size was $1 billion in 2020 and is estimated to grow over $13.4 bn by 2027.
    • The global media rights market is $52.1 bn where market share of cricket grew from 2.7% to 3.0%.
      • Football continues to hold the pole position at 42%.
    • India is one of the largest manufacturers of sports goods and equipment in Asia after China & Japan and that the sports goods market was worth $4.5 billion in 2020 and is estimated to grow to $6.6 billion by 2027.
    • The Indian sports apparel market was worth $14 billion in 2020 and is estimated to grow to $21 billion by 2023, largely growing on the back of menswear products.

    The Importance of Sports 

    • Sports and academic life
      • Sports, education, and health share an elemental link, and together they contribute significantly to the holistic development of a child.
    • The changing dynamics of sports culture in India
      • A good sports culture is an index to measure a nation’s growth and progress.
      • The medals and trophies earned by players at globally recognized sporting events bring glory and honour to the country.
    • Opportunities in sports
      • There is a broad spectrum of professional opportunities that sports as an industry offer.
      • In addition to a sportsperson, one can become a trainer, sports coach, athletic director, marketing and promotion coordinator, PR, physical therapist, sports and fitness nutritionist, sports journalist, sports announcer, sports agent, umpire, referee, sports photographer, a sports lawyer, etc.
    • The role of the Indian Government
      • The Indian Government recognized the importance of sports and formed the National Sports Policy in 1984, aiming to make sports and physical education an essential part of the academic curriculum.
      • The revised National Sports Policy, 2011, advocates the importance of sports and physical education in developing better individuals, enhancing productivity, and bringing social harmony.
    • The role of a school
      • A child needs to engage in sports as it offers holistic development and positive personality traits.
      • A school is a place that helps children discover their interests, inclination, and strengths.
    • Employability level
      • Some of the research also suggests that being involved in sports may raise the employability level of young people by developing specific ‘core’ and ‘soft’ skills.

    Challenges

    • Lack of motivation
      • The government has made sports and physical education mandatory in the curriculum but it lacks the required motivation and drive from the administrators.
    • Superstitious beliefs
      • A sport is never a priority for a majority of Indian parents and their kids.
      • Most Indians share the belief that “If you study hard you will be successful but if you play sports you will ruin your life.”
    • Poverty
      • Poverty is widespread in India and because of this menace; such a massive population cannot produce good sportspersons.
      • It is very difficult for many Indian families to provide the means to their children to pursue a career in sports.
      • Consequently, a lot of latent talent goes undiscovered or inadequately nurtured to compete at the level of the Olympics.
    • Poor Infrastructure
      • Lack of facilities at the grass root level is a major problem.
      • Schools and colleges lack the basic infrastructure that can encourage other sports, so even if someone has a natural talent in a particular sport, it gets crushed at the school level itself.
    • Lack of recognition of sports other than cricket
      • Cricket continues to dominate India’s sporting landscape.
      • Sports other than cricket are not given much weightage as a career option, because neither they appear neither financially lucrative nor glamorous.
    • Corruption
      • Corruption plagues all major Indian sports, including cricket, hockey, weightlifting, and athletics.
      • The governing boards of the sports federations are under the control of politicians and bureaucrats who have little or no interest and knowledge of the specific requirements and anticipated problems in that sport.

    Government initiatives in the sports sector

    • Fit India Movement
      • Fit India Movement is a nationwide movement in India to encourage people to remain healthy and fit by including physical activities and sports in their daily lives.
    • Khelo India Scheme
      • The Khelo India Scheme has initiated in 2016 post the fusion of three earlier schemes – Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan (RGKA), Urban Sports Infrastructure Scheme (USIS), and National Sports Talent Search Scheme (NSTSS).
      • This scheme was focused on increasing mass participation of youth in annual sports games and competitions.
    • Sports Talent Search Portal
      • The portal allows youngsters to upload their achievements.
      • Those who get shortlisted are then called for trials and the qualified candidates then take part in the schemes of the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
    • Empowered Steering Committee on Sports
      • The Committee is answerable for preparing a far-reaching action plan for the powerful participation of Indian players in the Olympic Games of 2021 (Tokyo), 2024 (Paris), and 2028 (Los Angeles).
    • National Sports Awards Scheme
      • The Government acknowledges and respects sports personalities with the Arjuna Awards, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Dhyan Chand Awards, and Dronacharya Awards for their achievements and commitments as sportspersons and coaches in the field of sports.
    • Sports and Games for Persons with Disabilities Scheme
      • The differently-abled sportspersons are trained in their field for conducting sports competitions and assisting schools and institutes having differently-abled sportspersons.
    • Target Olympic Podium Scheme
      • It is under the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) to help the potential medal possibilities for the Olympic Games of 2016 and 2020.
      • The main centre is given to Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Archery, Wrestling, and Shooting sports.

    Way forward/ Suggestions

    • Run
      • It ought to be mandatory for every single person in the country to run or jog or walk for fifteen minutes at least every single morning.
    • Utilise schools
      • The best way to develop sports at the grassroots level is to integrate it as a goal for schools to pursue.
    • Broadcast more sports
      • A lot of kids pick up sports because of what they watch on TV.
      • Increased coverage of sports on TV also makes way for companies to invest in advertisement slots, which promotes the market for the sport.
    • Get corporates in on the action
      • Private sector is all about monetizing things. They can take sports to the next level because their focus is long-term, not just what they can make today.
    • Infrastructure
      • Increase the number of facilities which people can use for pursuing sports and increase the accessibility and quality of the existing infrastructure.
    • Tie-ups with foreign bodies who have a vested interest in developing the sport
      • The NBA has tied up with Mahindra, IMG Reliance and the Basketball Federation of India to develop basketball in India.
      • They provide technical expertise and other support to conduct various activities at the grassroots level and above to improve the standard of the game here and to spread the love of the game.
    • Structured competition
      • People need to compete in well-organised competitions which have a sustainable structure.
      • A simple one-shot tournament is not completely ineffective, but having well-organised competitions over a long period of time will allow for better development and talent spotting. 

    Source: PIB