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Khelo India Launches Groundbreaking KIRTI Program: Revolutionizing Sports Talent Identification Across Nation

Chandigarh, March 12, 2024

In a grand ceremony at the Sector 7 sports complex in Chandigarh, Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, inaugurated the Khelo India Rising Talent Identification (KIRTI) program. The nationwide initiative aims to scout talent among school children aged 9 to 18, with a dual purpose of fostering a culture of sports and deterring addiction to drugs and gadgets.

KIRTI, a dream envisioned by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has been launched across 50 centers in India, targeting 50,000 applicants in the first phase across 10 sports, including athletics, boxing, wrestling, hockey, and football. The program plans to conduct 20 lakh assessments throughout the year to identify and nurture talent through notified Talent Assessment Centres.

Minister Thakur highlighted the importance of starting early in sports, emphasizing that youth are the building blocks of the nation. KIRTI employs transparent selection methodology based on Information Technology, utilizing data analytics and Artificial Intelligence to predict the sporting acumen in aspiring athletes.

The minister urged children to register through the MyBharat portal, promising that KIRTI would reach every block in the country to provide opportunities for aspiring athletes. The program, costing Rs 3000 Crore, aligns with the government’s vision to make India a top 10 sports nation by 2036 and among the top five by 2047.

Prominent personalities present at the inauguration included Member of Parliament Shrimati Kirron Kher and rising javelin star Kishore Kumar Jena, a silver medalist at the Hangzhou Asian Games and a Paris Olympics medal contender.

Shrimati Kher commended the KIRTI program, stating that it would bridge the gap between dreams and reality for children aspiring to excel in sports. Several young participants expressed enthusiasm for the opportunity, with 14-year-old sprinter Aman Sharma and 17-year-old walker Jaskaran Singh praising KIRTI for providing them with a clear pathway to pursue their sporting dreams.

Kishore Kumar Jena applauded the initiative, emphasizing the need for support at the grassroots level. Minister Thakur reiterated India’s intention to host the Youth Olympics in 2030 and the Summer Olympics in 2036, emphasizing the role of sports in showcasing India’s soft power on the global stage.

Twitter Links to Shri Thakur’s KIRTI Inauguration:
1. [Shri Anurag Thakur’s Tweet](https://x.com/ianuragthakur/status/1767477378547142685?s=48&t=i-_pAF8vR1iF0agU_b9IbA)
2. [ANI’s Tweet](https://x.com/ANI/status/1767438111389204991?t=8ZMxw24qK_PTE22LLduWdw&s=08)

About Khelo India Mission:
The Khelo India Scheme, a flagship Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, aims to infuse a sports culture and achieve sporting excellence in the country. Under the “Sports Competitions and Talent Development” vertical, the “Talent Identification and Development” component focuses on identifying and developing athletes at the grassroots and elite levels to bolster the sports ecosystem in India.

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