India is home to some top-notch sports persons. Sachin Tendulkar, Saina Nehwal, and Sania Mirza are only some of these ace performers. But the trend in our country today still favors students who excel at academics. Studying engineering and medicine is still a craze. Indian society, at large, gives priority to classroom and textbook knowledge. This attitude, in turn, affects candidates at international events. The plight of India at the Olympics over the decades shows our disinterest to invest in sports. If you’ve watched the movie Paan Singh Tomar, you will feel the ache and sorry-state-of-affairs that led him to drop the sports mantle and become a thug. This article aims at giving you a brief idea about how the sports quotas in colleges work and the list of colleges which offer the same.
The current attitude certainly does not portray the state of affairs when it comes to sports in India, in a good light. Many kids from well-to-do families take up sports training in individual capacities. Some others are lucky enough to get sponsors. The lack of opportunities does not make sports a great career option for the masses. A bit of a silver lining for some students is the sports quota in good colleges. Only students who have exhibited exceptional talent in a sport can avail this option. Additional marks are given to students:
- Who perform well at the heats (preliminary contests) conducted at a college level
- Who have earned accolades in national or international competitions
Heats are also organised by the School Games Federation of India or Sports Authority of India. You should have certificates in the game to maximize your chances of an admission through the sports quota. Frankly speaking, many see this as a short-cut to get into a reputed college. The rampant misuse of the sports quota has also been observed.
Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Senior Secondary (MSBSHSE) in 2011, had asked the state government to scrap the marks given then. But it was revived again in 2015, looking into the larger interest of the potential pool of sports talent. An additional 25 marks were given to both SSC and HSC students to pass the board exams in Maharashtra.
Regardless of the current situation, there are some very deserving students who could benefit from the sports quota. Some really good colleges where students can avail the quota are:
Sports Authority of India and Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports (SAI NSNIS)
This institute offers sports scholarships with an aim to promote sports in the country. Situated in Patiala, it has high-end facilities for sports training along with good academic programs too. The institute offers scholarship at the university, state and national level, and also has special scholarships for women. Its purpose is to recognize and groom talented sports persons from all walks of life. It also has facilities for training coaches. The selection criteria is strictly based on merit and performance.
They have two types of admissions procedures:
- Direct admission is given to those students who have represented the country in certain competitions
- Admission by sports trials
Students need to clear 2 out of the 3 tests (strength, endurance, and speed) to make the cut. And 25% weightage is given to the certificates that students have and the rest – 75% is for the trial performance.
St. Stephen’s College, Delhi
St. Stephen’s, which is a part of DU, awards scholarships and other financial aids to deserving students on the basis of need-cum-merit. In the sports category, these scholarships are spread over 15 disciplines. All students applying through the sports quota have to clear a fitness test and the mandatory trials.
SRM University, Tamil Nadu
The selection criteria is based on fair trials conducted across various sports such as cricket, volley ball, football, hockey, etc. The candidates are judged by experts from inside and outside the university.
TNEA and Anna University, Tamil Nadu
TNEA has increased the number of sports quota seats from 100 to 500 in 2014. 12 seats will be with Anna University, and the remaining 488 will be with the Anna University of Technologies, govt. aided and private engineering colleges. They offer and teach as many as 51 different sporting disciplines.
Students availing the sports quota should further continue practicing their relevant sport. They should not stop just during or after the admission process. Though many continue practicing some amount of sports at a recreational level, it’s important for outstanding sportspersons to be recognised and encouraged. Efforts to reach the professional level should be the aim. This will definitely do a lot to boost the confidence of our fellow countrymen when thinking of sports as a career option.
Besides the sports quota, the government also offers many sports scholarships. You can read about them here.