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Asian Games 2022: Government of India did not recognize any esports federation

The Indian government recently shared that they have not recognized any existing esports and gaming federation in the country to regulate the activities. Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh Thakur has confirmed this while answering a question in Rajya Sabha. Let us tell you that this matter came to light when Sushmita Devi inquired about the work done by the government for India’s participation in the e-sports category of the upcoming Asian Games 2022 .

Sushmita inquired about several aspects of possible participation in the category. Significantly, this comes just days after India’s Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman announced the “Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC) Task Force” as part of the 2022-23 budget speech. This task force will create “domestic capacity”, which can meet global as well as domestic demand. Within hours of his budget speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi doubled down on the importance of innovation in domestic gaming development.

Government of India did not recognize any existing eSports Federation for Asian Games 

In the Rajya Sabha, Devi further asked whether the government knew about “e-sports” as a medal in the 2022 Asian Games. And is India going to participate in this division considering the “fast growing e-sports landscape”. It also asked which government organization would “monitor” the training if the “training facilities” offered by the government. Apart from this, he asked what steps would be taken by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in case of lack of any monitoring committee.

After which Anurag Thakur answered these questions during the Rajya Sabha session. Where he admitted that the government knows “e-sports” as a medal sport in the Asian Games 2022. At the same time, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) said that they received an “entry by number” from the organizing committee of the Asian Games 2022. The IOA has already processed the form and shared it back with the committee.

It can be understood from the responses that the National Sports Federation (NSF) is responsible for the promotion, development and training of a “Special Sports Discipline”. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports merely “supplements” the work done by the NSF through any financial assistance and for the recognized federations.

The ministry confirmed that no existing federations or associations have been recognized by them for “e-sports”. At present there are many organizations present in the country including Electronic Sports Federation of India (ESFI), E-Sports India (EI), E-Sports Development Association of India (EDAI), Federation of Electronic Sports Association of India (FEAI). ESFI is a member of the International eSports Federation, the Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) and the Global eSports Federation (GEF). It bills itself as the “national governing body for all exports to India”. However, this is not the first time that the government has discussed questions related to eSports in Parliament. But this is the first time the government has confirmed that India will participate in the medal competition for exports.

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