Govt approves inclusion of four indigenous sports in Khelo India Youth Games 2021

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News: Sports Ministry has approved the inclusion of four indigenous Games to be a part of Khelo India Youth Games 2021.The games include Gatka, Kalaripayattu, Thang-Ta and Mallakhamba.


  • Gatka: It is a traditional martial art form originated from Punjab.It is associated with the Nihang Sikh Warriors and is used both as self-defense as well as a sport.
  • Kalaripayattu also known as Kalari is an Indian martial art that originated in Kerala.It is believed to be the oldest surviving martial art in India.
  • Thang-Ta also known as Huyen Lallong is a martial art form of Manipur and has been practised by the Meiteis. It is dedicated to fighting skill and worship.
  • Mallakhamba: It is a traditional sport from Indian subcontinent and has been well-known in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.It involves gymnasts performing aerial yoga or gymnastic postures and wrestling grips in concert with a vertical stationary or hanging wooden pole, cane, or rope.

What is Khelo India?

  • Khelo India Programme: It was introduced by the Ministry of Sports and Youth affairs.
  • Aim: To revive the sports culture in India at the grass-root level by building a strong framework for all sports played in our country and establish India as a great sporting nation.
  • Objectives:
    • Mass participation of youth in annual sports competitions through a structured competition;
    • Identification of talent
    • Guidance and nurturing of the talent through existing sports academies and new set up either by the central Government or State Government or in PPP mode.
    • Creation of Sports Infrastructure at mofussil, Tehsil, District, State levels among others.
  • Merger: The scheme is a merger of three schemes namely:
    • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan: Infrastructure in rural areas and encouraging sports through competitions
    • Urban Infrastructure Scheme: Development of Infrastructure in urban areas.
    • National Sports Talent Search: Identifying sports talent.
  • Key Features of the Scheme:
    • Under the scheme, Talented players identified in priority sports disciplines at various levels by the High-Powered Committee will be provided annual financial assistance of INR 5 lakh per annum for 8 years.
    • State wise budget allocation is not made and projects are sanctioned based on their viability. Funds are released project wise.
  • Verticals: To meet the objectives of Khelo India, the entire programme is divided in 12 verticals as mentioned in the below picture:

Khelo India 1

Note: Sports being a State subject, the responsibility of promotion of sports, including identification of young talent and its nurturing rests with State Governments. Government of India supplements the efforts of State Governments through its various schemes.

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