The Supreme Court has asked the Centre and States to respond to a report recommending sports to be expressly made a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution.
- The report was submitted by the Supreme Court’s amicus curiae, senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan to the court.
- The report was filed in a response to a petition which asked to amend the Constitution to make sports a fundamental right in India.
Recommendations of the report –
- The report suggested that the phrase ‘sport’ be replaced by ‘physical literacy’, which is a term “firmly established as a right in the leading sporting nations of the world”.
- As per the report, all school boards should be directed to ensure that from the academic year commencing 2022-2023, at least 90 minutes of every school day will be dedicated to free play and games.
- The report suggested that State governments ought to ensure that from the current academic year, “all non-residential colleges and schools should compulsorily allow access during non-working hours to neighbourhood children to use their playgrounds and sports facilities for free, subject to basic norms of identification, security and care”.
- Subsequently, the court has directed the Centre to respond to the report’s view to establish a ‘National Physical Literacy Mission’ that includes curriculum design, compliance monitoring, review, grievance redressal and self-correction mechanisms” which starts at the school level to groom children for various sports.
- The policy will include the institution’s commitment to a ‘no-child-left-behind’ approach that ensures that the institution’s physical literacy activities are designed and delivered in a manner that is inclusive in nature.
UNESCO’s International Charter on Physical Education –
- The International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport is a rights-based reference that orients and supports policy- and decision-making in sport.
- It sets ethical and quality standards for all actors designing, implementing and evaluating sport programmes and policies.
- It was adopted at the 20th session of the UNESCO’s General Conference (1978).
- The revised International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport was adopted during UNESCO’s 38th session of the General Conference (2015).
- The revised Charter introduces universal principles such as gender equality, non-discrimination and social inclusion in and through sport.
- It also highlights the benefits of physical activity, the sustainability of sport, the inclusion of persons with disabilities and the protection of children.