Aim of International Sports University is to make India a sports superpower: minister

Stating that the aim of the proposed International Sports University (ISU) in Pune’s Balewadi is to prepare a talented young force that would in turn help transform Maharashtra and India into a ‘sports superpower’, State Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Sunil Kedar on Friday said that the ISU would be envisaged as an establishment with facilities matching international standards.

“Today, competition at the world level is the new basic. The prime aim of any sportsperson is to compete at the international level. We have similar expectations from the ISU and accordingly, we are aiming to create a place with facilities matching international standards where students will acquire a high-level of expertise that in turn will make Maharashtra and India a force to reckon with in the future,” Mr. Kedar said.

The first-of-its-kind ISU is to be set up at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex at Mhalunge in Balewadi.

Mr. Kedar further said that the idea for the ISU was unanimously passed by all legislators regardless of party and ideology. “There is no political hindrance to this project. The idea was approved, appreciated and passed unanimously by all the members of the State legislature,” he said.

When questioned as to why the ruling Maha Vikas Agahdi government had chosen Pune as the site of the ISU, the minister pointed to Balewadi’s ready infrastructure and the city’s robust sports culture.

“To establish a university, you need to create infrastructure. If we set up the ISU in some other city, we will have to spend a huge amount only on creating the infrastructure. It will not only require more money, but also require more time and approvals. We have a very good, ready infrastructure in Pune and have only to design courses,” he said.

The ISU will also offer students an opportunity to learn from international experts in the field, Mr. Kedar said, adding that there would be a provision of a students’ exchange programme while international experts would be visiting the institute.

Maharashtra Sports Commissioner Omprakash Bakoria said the Sports Department was in talks with prestigious institutes like the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad for possible tie-ups with the ISU.

“We are looking to get expertise from these prime institutes for our courses like sports technology, sports governance, and sports management,” Mr. Bakoria said, adding that the university would also help secure placements for students.

“We will be meeting corporates associated with sports as well as companies like Nike, Reebok and other sports manufacturers so that our students get jobs in these companies on completion of their respective courses,” the Sports Commissioner said.

Mr. Kedar said that the ISU was looking to commence operations from the 2021-2022 academic year. The university will offer various courses, including physical and sports education, sports science and sports medicine, sports technology, sports governance, sports management, sports media and communication, and sports coaching and training.

In the first phase, a three-year programme in sports science and sports technology would be offered along with a three-month programme in sports coaching and training. The intake capacity for each course would be 50 students.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 4:58:13 AM |

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