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Sports Facilities Technology

National Institute of Sports, Patiala Demerged from Sports Authority of India

July 21, 2011


National Institute of Sports (NIS), Asia's largest sports institute which is popularly known as the “Mecca" of Indian sports in Patiala, India, has demerged from Sports Authority of India (SAI (News - Alert)), the field arm of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India. Shri Ajay Maken, Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports, announced the demerger.

Aimed at resuscitating and establishing the academic character of the Institute, the move would ensure that NIS, Patiala emerges an “Institution of National Importance”, excelling in sports, academics and education, training, and recognition/certification of coaches, Shri Maken said in a press release.

The sports minister highlighted that the primary role envisaged for NIS would be that of one which produces world-class and qualified coaches for various sporting disciplines, rather than the currently prevalent, dominant role of holding training camps for athletes.

The Sports Authority of India (SAI), a successor organization of the IXth Asian Games held in New Delhi in 1982, was set up as a society registered by the Societies Act (1860) with the objective of promotion of sports and games. National Institute of Patiala (NIS) was amalgamated with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in April 1987. Prior to the merger, NIS was functioning as the National Institute of Physical Education and Sports under the erstwhile Society for the National Institute for Physical Education and Sports (SNIPES). The purpose of amalgamation at that time was to have a unified body with a comprehensive mandate for the promotion of sports in the country. 

However, with the passage of time, the role of academic division got diluted, especially with the conduct of national camps becoming the primary activity in NIS Patiala and coaching getting relegated in priority. As a result, the present decision to demerge NIS Patiala from SAI is aimed at restoring the position of NIS Patiala as a premier national institute for coaching education.

Meken believes that this reorientation can ensure proper perspective to various spheres of sports and its development.

A cabinet note will be moved for introducing a bill to this effect in the next/ winter session of Parliament, Shri Maken informed.

Meenakshi Shankar is a TMCnet contributor. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.