‘IIT Madras Sports Excellence Admission will enable fusion of technology with sports’

If sportspersons can combine their knowledge with the technology, it can lead to many innovations and unicorn companies (Unicorn refers to a startup company with a value of over US$1 billion.)

IIT Madras :- The technology-assisted sports cover almost all disciplines of sports both indoor and outdoor. A case in point where technology has been extensively used is in Chess.
When I studied computer science, computers could generate up to 20 chess moves per every move by a human player but it used to take up a lot of time.
Now, we have ‘Rapid Fire Rounds’ in which a player sees a combination and has to make a counter move quickly to win. The player has to have access to a lot of possible combinations of chess moves. This requires enormous computing powers as there are thousands of such combinations. Computer simulations can train chess players how to react to various combinations.
Such technology support is now needed to create Sports World Champions. A lot of Artificial Intelligence is also adopted not only in Chess but in most disciplines of sports. The need of the hour is therefore to combine sports with technology and hence Sports Excellence Admission at IIT Madras is a step in this direction.
After all, who better than sportspersons to identify, develop and evaluate new technologies in sports?
With the introduction of ‘Sports Excellence Admission’, IIT Madras will become the first among the 23 IITs in India to introduce admission based on sports excellence. It is our honour to take up this initiative and help the country generate world-class sportspersons, who will also be scholars and leaders.
The Institute is introducing Sports Excellence Admission from the 2024-2025 academic year, under which it will offer two supernumerary seats, of which one will be exclusively for female students, in each of its undergraduate programmes for Indian Nationals.
We aim to encourage and support aspirants who have achieved a certain level of excellence in their chosen sports. This not only encourages the sportspersons but also the student community to greatly benefit from the diversity on campus. A diverse student community leads to the positive impact of sports on personal and professional growth.
In the long term, recognising excellence in sports (or possibly other fields like music and arts in the future) will contribute to society’s perception of success. Emphasising the all-round development of students from the school level will prepare them better as professionals.
The outcomes expected envisaged from this Sports Excellence Admission include nurturing sporting talent alongside academic achievements and infusing technology with sporting talent in the country. Sports can also lead to a healthy student life with a goal-oriented lifestyle and contribute towards a stress-free and happy campus.
Sports train an individual to face instantaneous success and instantaneous failure. A batsman can score a sixer on a ball and get out the very next delivery. Sportspersons can handle such instant success, failure, appreciation and criticism. This is indeed an important quality that all students in IIT Madras work to inculcate.
The Sports Excellence Admission is, first and foremost, recognising sportspersons and providing them with technology skills. Athlete Management Systems now use wearable sensors and a host of other technology to monitor their health, process the data generated using AI and provide feedback.
There is a huge market developing this field along with significant employment opportunities. If sportspersons can combine their knowledge with technology, it can lead to many innovations and unicorn companies (Unicorn refers to a startup company with a value of over US$1 billion.)
IIT Madras also has a Center of Excellence in Sports Science and Analytics, which aims to become a global platform for fostering innovation in sports technology and delivering products and solutions to enhance athlete performance and also serve general fitness and health consumers. The Center will work very closely with these student-athletes to ensure their progression both academically as well as in their sport.
It is creating and delivering products and solutions across media platforms and working with sporting federations and bodies (creating their platforms and enhancing on-ground experience and working with other media platforms) to increase fan engagement.
Thus, IIT Madras is well poised to successfully integrate sports with Technology through the provisioning of Sports Excellence Admission, surely an important step in our country’s dream to have world champions in all disciplines of sports.

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