Wednesday, 23 October 2013

SSC: Is India ready to close the loop?

A short discussion with Mr. Rajpal Singh on SSC 2014 Vision Document and FICCI's vision on Sports in India proved to be an enlightening moment at FICCI's TURF 2013, New Delhi.

The projected requirement for skilled and trained Human Resources by 2022 is a whopping 43,71, 675 personnels.  The Skill Council has been conceived to meet the skill challenge of the country in real time and in a very organised manner so as to check progress and implement new measures if required as the country progresses.

FICCI came in to being in 1927 and since then has been at the helm in bringing about qualitative changes with its initiatives to being not just the voice of policy changes in the country but facilitating change.

Some of the ongoing Policy Advocacy Initiatives of FICCI Sports has been to grant Industry Status to Sports Sector and setting up Sector Skill Council in Sports, Physical Education and Active Leisure.
Besides these, concerted efforts at regulating Sports betting in India and Institutional Capacity Building of Sports Education Institutions are on the list of FICCI Sports Focus.

FICCI Sports acts as a platform and offers advisory services to organizations, national and international, who are interested in launching businesses. Being the key facilitator of a nation wide vision to set up the Industry of Sports, FICCI Sports has been conducting surveys, research and developing knowledge reports to assess the field thoroughly and identify the skills gaps, infrastructural shortage and developing ideation to address issues in the Sports Sector. Explaining at length the purpose SSC will serve, Mr. Rajpal went on to mention that it all begins at home and in schools and the first wave of change is to be in a perspective of parents, students and educators.

He further stressed the need to put Sports participation in the right perspective to yield a country teeming with unharnessed young population of potential. There are 783 registered institutions operating in the country at the moment doling out over 39000 graduates in Physical Education yearly but there seems to be a huge gap in either the marketability of these educated individuals and getting employment for them. As of now, barely 12% of these graduates get absorbed into the market. There is an evident gap that needs to be addressed.

While India has been previously Coach centric when it comes to sports, FICCI has identified over 15 sub-sectors under the Sector Skills Council within Sports including Management, Event Management, Medicine, Coaching, Science & Technology and broadcasting to play their specific roles. To build a team for the team in its fullest sense.

There is a need for specialised fields and training to churn out qualified coaches, sports medicine experts, trainers, sports psychologists, nutritions experts and even sports photographers and sports journalists.

While FICCI has been advocating developing quality human resources, it is not just qualified individual that are required. There is also the need to have jobs existing or created for these individuals. There is the need for all stakeholders, both private, public and corporate to come together to address the shortatage of eployable and skilled manpower in sports, physical education and active leisure.
FICCI-MCD's initiative to promote leisure sports in MCD Schools of Delhi by introducing Martial Arts Program for girl children in 4th and 5th standard is a novel initiative.

"We hope to empower them as well as create interest in sports and physical fitness with this initiative."

Mr. Rajpal also feels that for children to get interested in sports, the onus is on the parents to allow them to get involved and the easiest way to do this is to make sports an important part of school curricula. By making participation in sports matter in the form of how it adds to a child's grades and not just personality development, this will push active participation in sports encouraged by parents.

A fight against a culture of mediocrity will be the biggest challenge for us to face as a Nation. But now that we have examples to look at and other nations to learn fro, it is time to get things in place and have our youngsters prepared for a new era in Sports lead by thought leaders and policy makers and making the changes from grassroots all over the country.

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