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Sports minister Anurag Thakur launches KIRTI, a nationwide talent hunt scheme

KIRTI, short for Khelo India Rising Talent Identification, aims to identify talent from all over the country between the ages of 9-18 using IT tools.

Sports minister Anurag Thakur launches KIRTI, a nationwide talent hunt scheme

FILE PHOTO: Sports minister Anurag Thakur at the launching of the Khelo India Para Games mascot Ujjwala. 


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 14 March 2024 5:40 PM GMT

Anurag Thakur, the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, on Tuesday, launched KIRTI, Khelo India Rising Talent Identification, a first-of-its-kind nationwide talent hunt programme for youngsters aged between 9-18 using IT tools.

The initiative aims to conduct 20 lakh assessments across the country throughout the year to identify, train and nurture the talents of the future through notified Talent Assessment Centers (TAC) thereby creating a pyramid-like structure starting at the grassroots level to push young talents into bringing laurels to the country at the national and international levels.

"In the first phase, 10 Khelo India disciplines have been identified, but for years to come, this list will keep expanding, incorporating and mainstreaming more sports for inclusive and comprehensive development, making India truly a sporting superpower," Thakur wrote on X.

Archery, athletics, boxing, football, hockey, kabaddi, kho-kho, volleyball, weightlifting and wrestling have been identified as the initial set of disciplines for the programme.

Olympic and World Championships gold medallist Neeraj Chopra expressed his optimism on the launch of this initiative. Neeraj remarked: "It could possibly provide the right balance between sports and studies" and that it will be a "boon to school-goers".

"If our athletes are focused and can capitalize on the platforms provided, Indian sports can only go forward," he added.

KIRTI will also involve physical education teachers and experts in these sports to identify upcoming talent from every nook and corner of the country.

This programme will be a part of the larger Khelo India scheme, a flagship Central Sector Scheme of the government of India aimed at inculcating sports culture into Indian society and achieving excellence on the world stage.

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