Maha's first sports university to be set up in Pune: Minister

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Mumbai, Dec 17 (PTI) Maharashtra's first international sports university will be set up in Pune district and start functioning from the academic session 2021-22, state Sports Minister Sunil Kedar said on Thursday.

The institution will bring together faculties of various sports activities and help in research to bring up international level sports-persons, Kedar told reporters here.

The Maharashtra cabinet last week approved a draft bill for the constitution of the international sports university, and it was passed in the just concluded winter session of the state Legislature.

The state government had announced in the budget that such a university will be set up.

'The first sports university of Maharashtra will be set up in Pune and start its operations from the academic year 2021-22,' Kedar said.

'The Balewadi sports complex (in Pune) will be upgraded to the level of a university which will get an initial funding of Rs 400 crore with creation of 213 posts,' the minister added.

A committee, headed by Mumbai University's former vice chancellor Vijay Khole, was set up and based on its recommendations, the state government decided to set up the international sports university in Pune, he said.

The Balewadi-based Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, which hosted the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2008, will be upgraded to sports university, which will bring trainers and researchers in various sports fields under one roof, he said.

'The university's faculties and its various researches would cover sports-related science, medicine, technology, coaching and training, sports management and sports media and communication, among others,' the minister said.

All facilities will be on par with international standards so that players get quality training and inputs, Kedar said.

While the varsity will have some permanent posts, including vice chancellor and registrar, some international level experts will also be hired on contractual basis for the benefit of trainees, he added.

Earlier, senior BJP leader Haribhau Bagade on Wednesday alleged that the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government was planning to shift the sports university proposed in Aurangabad city of Marathwada to Pune.

He said the project to set up the sports university in the biggest city in Marathwada was announced by the erstwhile BJP government.

'The same was announced in the state budget also. A plot of land was even finalised at Karodi in Gangapur tehsil in Aurangabad district, but the government is now taking this project away to Pune,' the former speaker of the Legislative Assembly said. PTI ND GK GK