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Boost for sports careers as UGC to recognize sports science, management degrees

Bachelor’s and Master’s in Sports Science, Sports Management to be recognized degrees.

February 26, 2022 / 05:22 PM IST
Former cricketer Nilesh Kulkarni (left) and Maharashtra Sports and Youth Affairs minister Sunil Kedar at the press conference at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, on February 26, 2022.

Former cricketer Nilesh Kulkarni (left) and Maharashtra Sports and Youth Affairs minister Sunil Kedar at the press conference at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, on February 26, 2022.

Mumbai, February 26: The Maharashtra sports and youth affairs minister, Sunil Kedar, announced on February 26 in Mumbai the plans for the newly set-up International Sports University, Maharashtra (ISUM). He also confirmed the UGC’s (University Grants Commission's) decision to classify Bachelor’s and Master’s in Sports Science and Sports Management as recognized degree options all over India.

The validation of the degrees is expected to come into effect soon.

“With the International Sports University, our goal is to revolutionize sports education by incorporating different aspects of technology, management and sports governance, to produce sports professionals of the future,” Kedar said at a press conference at Wankhede Stadium, not far from where Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s six sealed the 2011 World Cup for India.

“We welcome UGC’s decision, and look forward to a quantum leap in building talent, jobs and sports IP for the long-term development of the Indian sports industry through professional education,” Kedar added.

Also read: PM Modi to lay foundation stone of Major Dhyan Chand Sports University in Meerut

ISUM has appointed some former athletes as consultants. These include former India cricketer Nilesh Kulkarni, ex-India hockey captain Viren Rasquinha and former India football goalkeeper Henry Menezes.

Kulkarni, who has been among the pioneers of sports management education in India, said that UGC’s acceptance will play a transformational role for the sports-ed sector.

“The approval for the degrees is the need of the hour if we want to make next-level progress across different domains of sports,” the former left-arm spinner said. “Over the years, I have realized the lack of academic validation for sports science and management domains, which is worrisome. By setting up the ISUM, we aim to make rapid strides in developing curated curriculum and building strategic collaborations across sectors to diversify sports learning.”

Read more about Sports Universities

Kulkarni said thousands of sports jobs are created by the Indian Premier League (IPL) and other events, necessitating a trained workforce.

“Every year 18,000-20,000 people work on the IPL,” he said. “When Khelo India was held in Maharashtra, more than 7,000 people were engaged in work for three to six months. So there are a lot of opportunities,” Kulkarni said. He also stressed on the point of specialisation, which will be offered by ISUM courses.

“The degrees will have specialisation, just like in management. Sports management will have marketing, operations, finance, logistics. Similarly in science there will be biomechanics, psychology, nutrition. There will be different verticals as specialisation,” Kulkarni said.

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