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The vice president of India Venkaiah Naidu on Monday launched the National Sports Talent Search Portal, a government initiative to unearth sporting talent from every nook and corner of the country. Speaking on the occasion, Naidu said that the provision of infrastructure and training facilities and establishment of academies would be critical to India becoming a strong sporting nation.

Under the initiative, a child or his parents, teachers or coaches can upload his bio data or video on the portal. The Sports ministry will select talented players and impart training to them at Sports Authority India centres.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday made a mention of the portal launch during his 'Man ki Baat' radio programme.

"We need to create good infrastructure for sports in all states and nurture sporting talent from an early age. Across the length and breadth of the country, we need more training academies and coaching centres to turn our young men and women into sports stars and role models for succeeding generations," he said.

"Barring cricket and hockey earlier as team sports, our success in sports events is sporadic and more on account of individual effort and excellence, rather than any state patronage and encouragement. That must change. Be it Sania Mirza, PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, PT Usha, Milkha Singh or Abhinav Bhindra, all of them did themselves and the nation proud through perseverance and tenacity," he added.

Talking about the Portal, Naidu said, "The platform of National Sports Talent Search Portal will be a game changer and enable the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and Sports Authority of India select the best.

"This initiative will not only help in identifying the best talent, but will also provide a level playing field to all the applicants and create a competitive environment."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 29 August 2017 paid tribute to hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand on his birth anniversary and launched the National Sports Talent Search portal. Modi said the legend’s sporting skills did “wonders for Indian hockey”.

His birthday is celebrated as National Sports Day in India.

The Prime Minister said the nation has immense sporting talent. “To harness this potential” the portal was launched, he added.

It would provide “essential direction and support to youngsters to pursue their sporting aspirations...”, Modi said, adding, “Sports is about physical fitness, mental alertness and personality enhancement.”