Sports Ministry launches online portal for schemes, rewards, benefits

NEW DELHI, Jul 8: Deserving athletes and former sportspersons will now not be required to run after national federations and government offices to get their rewards and dues as the Sports Ministry has made the processes online.
Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Friday launched three major initiatives of his department — online portal for schemes of department of sports, national sports development fund (NSDF) website and revised scheme of cash award, national welfare and pension to sportspersons.
While active athletes who seek recognition and rewards from the government can now apply online on the portal of department of sports, corporates, PSUs and individuals can contribute to NSDF fund on its newly-built website.
Thakur termed the initiatives “revolutionary”, saying they will help in bringing transparency and accountability, besides giving a push to the government’s digital India mission.
“We will continue to provide facilities to our athletes but if we can integrate technology with these facilities it can be very beneficial.
“If an athlete had to seek for rewards and recognition from the government after a good performance, they had to go via the federation or SAI earlier, then it went through scrutiny and it took almost a year or two for these athletes to get their dues,” he said during the launch.
“We made this system simpler and more transparent. In simple words we have used technology to bring in more transparency and accountability to the system and it is further going to help the athletes to apply online and they will get their dues in a limited time.
“Pension scheme or Deen Dayal Upadhyay National Welfare Scheme for Sportspersons also we have made online so that athletes’ time doesn’t get wasted on this. The role of SAI and NSFs have been made non-existent so to say.” Thakur said.
“It’s a revolutionary step taken by the Sports Ministry.”
The minister reiterated that procedures have been relaxed for the athletes so that they can get the benefits of welfare schemes without any delay.
“Pension for meritorious sportspersons scheme also used to take time and many failed to get the benefit. So we have made available to sportspersons an easy to use transparent system.
“It is user-friendly, technology driven and by this we can fulfil the minimum government maximum government thought also.
“We will try to upgrade this system continuously so that life becomes easy and one can get the benefits. It is easy to apply, takes less time and money gets transferred directly to bank accounts through DBT.”
Thakur also appealed to the countrymen, private entities and PSUs to contribute to the NSDF for the development of Indian sports.
“NSDF is a big initiative in creating funds for TOPS, other benefits for athletes and developing infrastructure. PSUs, corporates have helped us from time to time in creating this fund.
“Individuals can also contribute if they want. My appeal to all countrymen, corporate sector, PSUs and all others institutions to go online and make their contribution, which will help us in taking sports forward,” he said.
“Adopt a player, adopt a game, adopt a hostel, adopt a field… You can choose and come forward to adopt any player, any sport, any hostel, any sports infrastructure, we are ready to collaborate with you and it will be technology-driven and transparent.”
Asked if the process of National Sports Awards, given on the National Sports Day, can be made online, the minister said: “I will take it as a good suggestion. We will take note of this.”
All contributions to NSDF will get exemptions from income tax. (PTI)