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Modi government now prepares fitness challenge for school children

To be termed as ‘Khelo India National Fitness Assessment Programme’, the Centre plans to get all government, private, aided and unaided schools on board for this.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jul 09, 2018, 06.30 AM IST
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There will be three core tests for 5-8 years — a BMI for monitoring height and weight, a ‘Flamingo Balance Test’ and a ‘Plate Tap test’ to check coordination.
NEW DELHI: Can your five-year-old child pass the Flamingo Balance Test of standing on one leg for 60 seconds? What is his/her body mass index (BMI)? How fast can your nine-yearold run over 50 meters or do push-ups?

The Centre is planning a first-of-its kind programme to assess the fitness level of school-going children and identify future sporting stars.

To be termed as ‘Khelo India National Fitness Assessment Programme’, the Centre plans to get all government, private, aided and unaided schools on board for this. The government also proposes to develop a software and a mobile app, which can be accessed by schools, students and parents, to monitor child’s fitness, as per details accessed by ET. A small set of mandatory tests, named ‘core tests’, will be performed by schools with two objectives — fitness assessment and sports skills assessment for identifying potential talent.

A physical fitness-cum-health profile will be given to all children of 5-18 years, fitness date will be compiled and maintained centrally, a standardised ‘Indian Fitness Scale’ will be devised and fitness of each child will be tracked to identify and nurture talent.

Union sports secretary Rahul Bhatnagar said they are working with the HRD ministry, CBSE, ICSE as well as Kendriya and Navodaya Vidyalayas for the purpose. “We are in touch with the HRD ministry to get data on the Mid-Day meal scheme in which some parameters like height and weight is monitored. We are also reaching out to the women and child welfare department which is implementing the National Nutrition Mission.”

The fitness programme will cover boys and girls as well as differentlyabled children and the module will be made available online and on the mobile app. “This is done by other leading countries and that is how they nurture talent from school level and win medals at Olympics,” a top government official told ET.

There will be three core tests for 5-8 years — a BMI for monitoring height and weight, a ‘Flamingo Balance Test’ and a ‘Plate Tap test’ to check coordination.

For those in 9-18 age bracket, there will be six core tests — a BMI, a 50-metre race from standing start position to check speed, a 600-metre run or a walk to check endurance, a ‘sit and reach’ test using a box to check flexibility, ability to do ‘partial curls’ for 30 seconds to check core strength and push-ups for boys and modified push-ups for girls to check muscular endurance. An E I-card will be generated for each student with a dashboard for all schools to track their top and consistent performers. There will be social media integration to give an option to children to share their fitness data online.

The government plans to build on this to filter data to identify the athletic children and get them play multiple sports matching their interest. Those with sporting talent can be channelised into the right sports of their choice. The government could also constitute ‘National Fitness Awards’ to reward and give special recognition to the top students and schools. ‘Khelo India will identify and recognise the following — fittest children, fittest cities, fittest schools and fittest states.
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