SC seeks Centre, State governments’ reply on making ‘physical literacy’ a fundamental right

What is the News?

The Supreme Court has asked the Centre and States to respond to a report recommending sports to be expressly made a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Note: The report was submitted by the court’s amicus curiae (friend of the court).

What was the case about?

A Public Interest Litigation(PIL) was filed in the Supreme Court to direct the Centre to amend the Constitution to make sports a fundamental right and amend the Directive Principles of State Policy to include an obligation to “strive for promotion of sports education”.

It had also urged that sports should be transferred to the Concurrent List to facilitate cooperative work between the Center and states (at present, sports is a state subject).

What are the recommendations given by the report?

Replace Sports Phrase with Physical Literacy: The “narrow” phrase ‘sport’ should be replaced by ‘physical literacy’, which is a term “firmly established as a right in the leading sporting nations of the world”.

Launch National Physical Literacy Mission: The mission should implement a responsibilities matrix that includes curriculum design, compliance monitoring and grievance redressal and self-correction mechanisms which starts at the school level to groom children for various sports.

Dedicated Time for Sports: All school boards including CBSE, ICSE, State Boards, IB, and IGCSE should be directed to ensure that from the academic year commencing 2022-2023, at least 90 minutes of every school day will be dedicated to free play and games.

Sports Facilities for Free: State governments ought to ensure that from the current academic year, all educational institutions in their non-working hours, should allow neighborhood children to use their playgrounds and sports facilities for free.

Draft ‘Physical Literacy Policy’: A 180 days’ time should be given to educational institutions to draft ‘Physical Literacy Policy’. The policy will include the institution’s commitment to a ‘no-child-left-behind’ approach. It should ensure that the institution’s physical literacy activities are designed and delivered in a manner that is inclusive of students.

Setup Internal Committee: There is a need to create an internal committee to address specific cases where there is a failure in responsibilities to deliver the right to physical literacy of students.

Create Dashboard: There is a need to create a dashboard with real time data on mapping of available playgrounds and open spaces and their utilization rates. The dashboard should also include the availability and qualifications of physical education teachers, curricula, timetables, and equipment in educational institutions across the country.

Source: The post is based on the article SC seeks Centre, State governments’ reply on making ‘physical literacy’ a fundamental rightpublished in The Hindu on 8th May 2022.

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