Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times
A proposal to give marks to students for achieving certain level of physical fitness and setting up two sports institutes to improve India's Olympic medal tally got a stamp of approval from the Cabinet on Thursday. Mr. Maken had unveiled the National Physical Fitness Programme providing additional weightage in academic performance to more physically fit students from class V onwards.
The students will be graded periodically with stars based on their physical fitness level.
"The scheme needs to be motivational rather than being coercive and to obtain this, the achievement of fitness by a child has to be rewarded in a manner similar to a reward for academic achievements," Maken had said, while releasing the exposure draft of the programme on August 31.
Fitness evaluation will have six components --- cardio-respiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, explosive strength (jumping) and body composition (percentage of body fat).
Fitness tests will be executed twice a year - in June and January - which will provide an idea of the status as well as level of improvement of the student's fitness during an academic session.
The programme is aimed at improve health of citizens as a recent World Health Organisation report said that one out of three Indians would be either a coronary patient or diabetic by 2030.
The ministry also wanted to set up National Institute of Sports Sciences and Medicines at a cost of Rs. 500 and National Institute of Sports Coaching to provide cutting edge support to medal hopefuls as part of its Olympics 2020 plan.
The three proposals of the ministry were part of the Planning Commission's 12th five-year plan (2012-17), whose draft was approved by the Cabinet.
The plan will now be considered by the National Development Council --- a body of all chief ministers and crucial Central ministers - probably in November