Yes, better late than never, if this would have become mandatory twenty years back, India should have got at least five golds at the Olympics, was a bit too far-stretched? I guess no. We live in a rigid Indian society which inculcates that studies is primary to get a job and sports is a way just to stay fit, that’s about it. Exactly, this is the shabby manner in which Indian parents look at sports. The story is startlingly different in European nations or the West, there sports is a major part of on’e curriculum. And the results they secure at the Olympics is a testament to that culture.

But we have to wait for another year before this rule is rolled out and gets effective. According to the ministry, the students will be marked on their participation in sporting activities and sports will be a compulsory subject, like English, one has to pass. It is likely to be rolled out in phases and this rule will be implemented from class 1 itself.

“Accepting the recommendation is easy, but implementing it is the challenge,” said Sports secretary Injeti Srinivas. The policy, Srinivas said, “would be path-breaking, and will be the base of a foundation”. “There’s no issue of a Bill being passed (to implement the policy) either. Central Board of Secondary Education can take a decision and other state boards can accept it, like the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan,” Srinivas said.

“Once sport is made part of the curriculum, imparting it will be a challenge. Playing field, equipment and coaches issue will be there. That is something we are working on, it will be the base of a foundation,” Srinivas said.