Sports activities are a universal form of recreation. It is also one form of the great expressions of the aspirations of a person to excel. Appreciating the impact of employee recreation in the development of leadership qualities, interaction and communic ation skills that are essential in providing effective service delivery, organizing sports events and creating recreational environment have become an integral part of the personnel policy of CSIR.
Towards this objective, the early initiatives taken by a few of the CSIR Instts./labs.especially those located in remote places like, Pilani, Bhavnagar, Karaikudi, Dhanbad, Jorhat, etc., to form staff clubs are highly laudable. These Instts./labs set up their staff clubs, as soon as they were established. Howeve r, organizing sports events at the agency level in CSIR commenced in 1953 with the initiative of the CSIR Headquarters when it hosted a tournament for the staff of Delhi - based laboratories. This limited sports activity’ continued for three years.
This limited sports activity’ of CSIR was elevated to an All India level in 1955, after the sudden demise of the founder Director (now redesignated as Director General), Dr. S.S. Bhatnagar. In his memory, the Tournament was named as the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar M emorial Tournament (SSBMT) that enlarged the participation of all CSIR employees spread across the country. Initially, the tournaments were organized biannually having games such as Cricket, Volleyball, Tennis, Basketball, Table Tennis, Badminton, Chess, C arrom and Bridge. The responsibility was then shouldered by the CSIR Headquarters Staff Club that used to organize the tournament in CSIR laboratories over a period of 7 to 8 days, every alternate year. The SSBMT held at the National Physical Laboratory (N PL) in 1956 could be termed as the First All India CSIR Tournament. These tournaments continued to be held regularly till 1980, with a little pause during the China War in 1965.
Meanwhile, CSIR considered providing greater impetus to sports within the sys tem. An official platform was accordingly provided by forming the CSIR Sports Control Board (SCB) on the lines of those existed in the Railways, P&T, etc. Formalization of the CSIR Sports Control Board took place in March, 1980 with its registration as a S ociety under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860. In view of the objectives/role of Sports Control Board, its nomenclature was changed to the Sports Promotion Board (SPB) and efforts are underway to renew/register the present CSIR - SPB with its new n ame.
The SSBMTs received overwhelming response with huge participation of around 1000 players and officials at one time. Many small Instts./labs with limited infrastructure experienced difficulties to host such mega events. It was therefore resolved to se parately organize Zonals and Finals involving relatively lesser number of participants. All the 40 plus staff clubs were then clubbed to form four zones with the participation of around 200 participants at each venue. Top two successful teams in individua l and team events of each game from these four zones then met at the Finals. After some experiments involving various permutations and combinations over a period of time, the SSBMT came into being in its present form i.e. being organized every year, alte rnately for indoor and outdoor games. The present practice thus provides greater incentive to the best eight players/teams every year as they get an opportunity to play twice (at two different venues for zonals and for finals) during the same year.
The CS IR - SPB, in addition to the above tournaments, also organizes certain specialized tournaments, such as the: Nayuydamma Memorial Cricket Tournament (every year) Atma Ram Memorial Volleyball Tournament, Thacker Memorial Lawn Tennis Tournament, Hussain Zaheer Bridge Tournament, Sidhu Memorial Table Tennis Tournament, A.P. Mitra Memorial Badminton Tournament and Anusandhan Basket Ball Tournament (alternate years).
Occasionally, the CSIR - SPB has also been organizing Athletic Meet and Mountaineering and Trekkin g, though for certain reasons, these activities could not be undertaken for some time now. The CSIR - SPB did organize coaching camps for its all India CSIR teams as well in the past. However, these are now proposed to be resumed shortly.
The CSIR - SPB, apar t from organising the SSBMTs and special tournaments, also initiated certain other very positive steps with a view to promote sports and to provide incentives to outstanding sports persons such as:
A Stipend of Rs. 10,000/ - to the wards of employees for e xcelling in a national event/representing the Nation in an International event;
A Stipend of Rs. 5,000/ - to the wards of employees for excelling at national/state/District levels in an official game; Providing support to labs to build/improve infrastruct ure for sports and recreational activities; ( Prizes for all the above categories are given at their respective Instts. on the CSIR Foundation Day) and
Honouring the players who would be retiring/superannuating in that year during the conduct of the Zonals /Finals or any other tournament hosted on behalf of the CSIR - SPB in a befitting manner (by the host Instt.) in recognition of their achievements in any of the sports events during their service in the CSIR Inst.