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  Youth affairs

Youth Affairs and Sports

YOUTH represent the most vibrant section of the society. They play a pivotal role in socio-economic changes and development of the society. A nation can progress only when the energy of youth is channelised into constructive work. It is imperative that youth are given a major role in the process of development. In India, the youth form nearly one-third of the total population. With the objective of fulfilling the aspirations of this group and empowering them as the active and constructive agents of positive change, the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports has been implementing several programmes.

YOUTH SERVICES NATIONAL YOUTH POLICY: The National Youth Policy was formulated in 1988. The main objectives of the Youth Policy are to instill in the youth respect for the principles and values enshrined in our Constitution; to promote an awareness of our historical heritage; to help develop the qualities of discipline, self-reliance, justice and fair play; and to provide them access to education in addition to developing their personality. It also aims at making the youth conscious of international issues and involving them in promoting world peace and a just international economic order. A need was, however, felt for a new National Youth Policy geared not only to the fast changing socio-economic scenario in the country but also to address the future concerns of the youth. A new national Youth Policy was accordingly drafted and circulated to all ministries/departments of the Central Government, all State governments, universities, youth wings of political parties and voluntary organisations working in field of youth concerns for their comments. Based on the views received, a Draft New National Youth Policy has been prepared and is under consideration of the Government. The Draft New Youth Policy recognises that youth development is a multisectoral concept and calls for an integrated approach. It stresses that the youth should be given more access to the process of decision making and implementation. It also defines the privileges and responsibilities of youth. Some important objectives of the Policy are to provide the youth with proper educational and employment opportunities; to give access to all relevant information; create adequate sports and other recreational facilities; to create among the youth awareness about Indian history, culture and heritage and to inculcate a scientific temper in them. The draft policy has set out four thrust areas, viz., Youth Empowerment, Gender Justice, Intersectoral Approach and an Information and Research Network. The Policy recognises the key sectors of concern for youth, such as

education, training and employment, health and accords high priority to certain categories of youth such as, youth with disabilities, rural youth, unemployed youth and street children, etc. The Policy also focuses on adolescent health, AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, nutrition, environment, sports, recreation and leisure, art and culture, gender justice, science and technology, civic sense and citizenship.

NATIONAL SERVICE SCHEME: National Service Scheme, popularly known as NSS, was launched in Gandhijis Birth Centenary Year 1969 in 37 universities involving 40,000 students with primary focus on the development of personality of students through community service. Today NSS has about 15 lakh student volunteers on its rolls spread over 189 universities and senior secondary councils. From its inception, more than 1.52 crore students from the universities, colleges and institutions of higher learning have benefited from NSS activities as NSS volunteers. Due to its overwhelming popularity and demand, the scheme was extended to the students of + 2 level in selected institutions. The National Service Scheme has two types of programmes, viz., Regular Activities and Special Camping Programme undertaken by its volunteers. Under Regular Activities, students are expected to work as volunteers for two years, rendering community service for a minimum of 120 hours per annum. The activities include constructive work in adopted villages and slums, blood donation, adult and non-formal education, health, nutrition, family welfare, AIDS awareness campaigns, tree plantation, improvement of campuses, etc. Under Special Camping Programme, a camp of 10-days duration is conducted every year in the adopted areas on a specific theme like Youth for Afforestation and Tree Plantation, Youth for Rural Reconstruction, Youth for Development, Youth for Mass Literacy, Youth for Social Harmony, etc.

NEHRU YUVA KENDRA SANGATHAN: Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) is an autonomous organisation of the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports. NYKS has its district level offices in about 500 districts of the country. It has become the largest grass-root level organisation in Asia-Pacific Region, catering to the needs of more than 6.4 million rural female and male youth enrolled through 1.79 lakh village based Youth Clubs, in the areas covering education, training, health awareness, self employment, financial assistance, etc. Besides this, awareness generation and activities for the over all development of the rural communities are also being taken up in the villages. For implementation of the programmes, every district NYKS has a network of trained cadre of District Youth Coordinators, National Service Volunteers and Youth Leaders. The strength of NYKS is its vast network of Youth Clubs at grassroots level. Regular programmes of NYKS are: Youth Club development programmes; vocational training programmes; awareness campaign; work camp; celebration of National Youth Day and Youth Week; sports promotion programmes and cultural programmes. In collaboration with UNICEF, NYKS has taken up a programme in Uttar Pradesh called youth action goal-2000, which has five major components, known as Panch Parameshwar, namely, child education, health and immunization, drinking water, nutrition and family welfare. The programme is being implemented in 9,000 village panchayats in Uttar Pradesh. In collaboration with the Department of Women and Child Development, Government of India, NYKS is implementing a project entitled Mahila Samriddhi Yojana in 40 districts of the country. NYKS in collaboration with National AIDS Control Organisation has taken up AIDS campaign in 45 districts of north-eastern States. NYKS also implements the following schemes of the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports: (a) youth development centres; (b) financial assistance to Youth Clubs; and (c) National Service Volunteer Scheme.

NATIONAL SERVICE VOLUNTEER SCHEME: The National Service Volunteer Scheme launched in 1977-78 aims at providing opportunities to youth to involve themselves, on a voluntary basis, in nation building activities for a year or two. Any person who has completed his/her degree course and is below 25 years of age may get himself/herself enrolled as a National Service Volunteer (NSV) for one/two years. The requirement of age and educational qualification can be relaxed in case of SC/ST and women volunteers. Each volunteer is paid a stipend of Rs 500 and a fixed travelling allowance of Rs 200 per month in addition to a contingency grant of Rs 100 per year. At present, 8,500 NSVs are deployed with the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, National Service Scheme, Bharat Scouts and Guides, Youth Hostels Association of India, etc. The State governments/UTs are also availing of the services of these volunteers.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS: The scheme provides financial assistance to voluntary organisations to involve youth for developmental activities specially in the rural areas. Assistance is extended to registered bodies, public trusts and non-profit making companies. The main focus has been on vocational training programme to promote self-employment for youth. Assistance is also given for conducting youth leadership training programme to promote cadres of young dynamic persons who would act as catalysts of social change in the rural areas.

TRAINING OF YOUTH: The Scheme is being implemented through the voluntary organisations, Nehru Yuva Kendras, NSS regional centres, educational institutions and State governments/UT administrations. The training covers a wide range of disciplines like agriculture, animal husbandry, dairy, poultry, etc. Other training programmes aimed at uplifting the functional capabilities of the rural youth and preparing them for self-employment are encouraged.

PROMOTION OF ACTIVITIES AMONG TRIBAL YOUTH: In order to promote youth activities among the youth of backward tribes a special scheme was started during 1990-91. Under the scheme, central assistance is given to voluntary organisations, NSS regional centres, educational institutions including universities, Nehru Yuva Kendras, Bharat Scouts and Guides and also to State governments/UT administrations for conducting youth leadership training programmes, vocational training for self employment, so that they are in a position to seek self-employment.


The scheme aims at:

(i)                 projecting and recognising the activities and contribution made by youth in various fields of national development;

(ii)               promoting the spirit of secularism and national integration;

(iii)              enabling youth to know more about the life and culture of other parts of the country; and

(iv)             exhibitions of folk dances, folk songs, painting, art and crafts, books, as well as on various development and youth related schemes. Financial assistance is given to voluntary organisations, NYK Sangathan, NSS regional centres, educational institutions including universities, State governments/ UTs. Such exhibitions are organised by the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports itself.


RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT: The Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development set up at Sriperumbudur (Tamil Nadu) functions as an autonomous body for coordinating and monitoring youth related activities in the country. The Institute will also function as: (i) a research agency and think-tank for youth programmes, policies and implementation strategies; (ii) develop multi - faceted programmes for youth; (iii) function as an institute for advanced studies in the field of youth; (iv) function as a Centre for documentation, information and publications pertaining to youth development; and (v) work as a Resource Centre.

SCOUTING AND GUIDING: Scouting and Guiding is an educational and international movement aiming at developing the character of boys and girls. It inculcates in them a spirit of patriotism, sympathy for others and social service. Bharat Scouts and Guides mainly promotes these activities in India. The Department of Youth Affairs and Sports extends financial assistance. It is the third largest youth organisation in the world with about 85,000 units having 23 lakh enrolments all over the country. The activities of units include adult literacy, tree plantations, community service, leprosy awareness, promotion of hygiene and sanitation, etc.

PROMOTION OF ADVENTURE: This scheme aims at fostering in youth the spirit of risk-taking, endurance, cooperative team work and encouraging quick, ready and effective reflexes in challenging situations. Financial assistance is provided to institutions, groups, individuals and voluntary organisations for undertaking adventure activities. The number of activities covered under the scheme has been enlarged. During 1999-2000, major thrust has been on providing financial assistance for creation of infrastructure and promotion of Aero-sports and Water Sports.

PROMOTION OF NATIONAL INTEGRATION: The Scheme for Promotion of National Integration aims at providing financial assistance for a variety of youth programmes aimed at fostering national integration and communal harmony. The scheme provides the framework for greater exchange and understanding among youth of the various regions of the country and for greater involvement of voluntary agencies in the task of national integration. Inter-State Youth Exchange programmes are also arranged to facilitate visit of youth living and working in the border states

to states with marked cultural differences and an exchange visit by youth of those states to the border states. The funds are channelised through voluntary youth organisations.

NATIONAL YOUTH FESTIVAL: The Fifth National Youth Festival was inaugurated by the Prime Minister on 12 January 1999 in Lucknow. Nearly, 3,500 youth from all over India participated. The Prime Minister conferred National Youth Awards on the youth in recognition of their commendable services for community welfare and social development.


Youth hostels are built to promote youth travel to enable the young people experience the rich cultural heritage of our country. The construction of Youth Hostels has been conceived as a joint venture of the Central and State governments. While the Central government bears the cost of the construction, the State government provides developed land free of cost with water, electricity, approach roads and staff quarters. Youth Hostels, after completion, are handed over to the State government for management. So far 56 Youth Hostels have been constructed and 18 are under construction.

ASSISTANCE TO YOUTH CLUBS: The scheme of assistance to Youth Clubs was started in 1986-87. It is being implemented through NYK Sangathan and State governments/Union Territory administrations for assisting newly set up Youth Clubs. The scheme of assistance to Sports Clubs/Centres has been merged with the scheme of assistance to Youth Clubs and is known as Scheme of Assistance to Rural Youth and Sports Clubs.

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT CENTRES: In order to promote participation of rural youth in development activities, a new scheme for setting up of Youth Development Centres for a group of 10 villages each was introduced during 1994-95. However, initially each centre may cover more than 10 villages. The centres are responsible for creation of facilities for information, sports, training and youth programmes for rural youth. The land for the centre is to be donated by the Panchayat. One time financial assistance of not more than Rs 30,000 is given to each centre for furniture, equipment, etc. Each centre is managed by a Youth Committee. This Scheme is being implemented through the NYK Sangathan.

AWARD TO OUTSTANDING YOUTH CLUBS: With a view to recognising the contribution of youth clubs and motivating them for more active participation in the nation-building endeavour, this scheme was introduced during 1992-93. It is being implemented through the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan. The scheme operates on a three-tier basis, i.e., district, state and national levels. At the district level the winner receives an award of Rs 5,000 and at the State level Rs 20,000. At the national level, there are three awards of Rs one lakh, Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000. The prize money is to be used for implementation of community based projects.

SPORTS NATIONAL SPORTS POLICY: The Policy resolution is based on a time-bound programme to provide infrastructure of sports and physical education in villages and towns and provide appropriate equipments to sports persons. It enjoins upon the governments to preserve playfields and open space and emphasises the necessity of effective training and competition programme for preparation of national teams to participate in international competitions.

ORGANIZATIONS SPORTS AUTHORITY OF INDIA:  Sports Authority of India (SAI) was established by the Government of India in January 1984 as a registered society primarily to ensure effective maintenance and optimum utilization of the various sports infrastructure that were built in Delhi during Asiad, 1982. It is now the nodel agency in the country for broad basing sports and for training of sports persons to achieve excellence in national and international sports arena. In order to have only one government agency at the apex for the promotion of sports, the Society for National Institute of Physical Education and Sports (SNIPES) was merged with SAI with effect from 1 May 1987. Subsequently, Netaji Subhash National Institute of Sports (NSNIS), Patiala and its allied centres at Bangalore, Calcutta and Gandhinagar and Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education at Thiruvananthapuram came under Sports Authority of India. It has now six regional centres at Bangalore, Gandhinagar, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Delhi and Imphal. Its regional centre at Bangalore has been developed as a Centre of Excellence. It has two sub-centres at Guwahati under the north-eastern centre and at Aurangabad under the western centre. The Sports Authority of India has a number of sports schemes/ programmes under implementation. Under the spotting and nurturing of talent project, SAI has National Sports Talent Contest (NSTC), adoption of akharas for promotion of wrestling, and Army Boys Sports Company (ABSC) scheme to scout talent in the age group of 8-14 years to provide them systematic training with scientific back-up. The scheme to extend the talent scouting to Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidalayas, large-size residential schools and public sector townships has also been approved recently. SAI

also has a scheme for promotion of sports in special areas, national coaching scheme. In addition, SAI implements a number of Central schemes. Recently, steps have been taken for setting up of regional and national academics for different sports disciplines with a number of public and private sector undertakings.

LAKSHMIBAI NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION:  The Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education formerly known as the Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education was established by the Government of India on 17 August 1957, the centenary year of War of Independence. The Institute is located at Gwalior where Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi, a valiant heroine of Independence war laid down her life. It has been de-linked from the Sports Authority of India and is registered under Societies Registration Act 1973. The Institute has been declared as a deemed to be university in the field of Physical Education. During 1997-98, the Institute, co-educational and fully residential institution, offered the following full time courses: (i) Bachelor of Physical

Education (three-year degree course); (ii) Master of Physical Education (two year degree course) for in-service teachers; and (iii) M. Phil. in Physical Education (one-year degree course). The total number of graduates, post graduates, M. Phil. Students and Ph.D from the Institute till the academic year 1997 are 2,816, 1,485, 186 and 112 respectively. A total of 30 research projects have been approved for M.PE and M.Phil. during current academic year.

GRANTS FOR CREATION OF SPORTS INFRASTRUCTURE:  The Central government supplements efforts of the State governments, State sports councils, etc., towards improving and creating infrastructural facilities for sports. Grants are given for construction of stadiums, swimming pools, gymnasia, sports complexes, etc. Mostly, financial assistance is given on a sharing basis of 50:50 between the Centre and the sponsoring agency, subject to specified limits, through concerned States/Union Territories. For hilly/ tribal areas, the Central contribution is 75 per cent subject to a maximum of certain specified ceiling. Scope of this scheme has since been enlarged to assist the State governments in creation of State level sports complexes and Sports Project Development Area (SPDA). So far 16 such complexes, one each in Goa, Pune, Bhopal, Jaipur, Bhubneswar, Chennai, Shimla, Lucknow, Agartala, Nagaland, Manipur, Faridabad, Purnea, Gwalior, Patna and Jengging have been approved. During 1998-99, assistance was also rendered for 50 projects comprising State level sports complexes, swimming

pools, indoor/outdoor stadiums and playfields. Financial assistance is also given for development of basic sports facilities in rural schools. To begin with, one school will be selected in each block/taluka at a place other than district or sub-division headquarters and Central assistance up to rupees one lakh fifty thousand is given for purchase of consumable and non-consumable sports equipments and development of playground. During 1998-99, 84 schools have been sanctioned grant amounting to Rs 77,02,542.

GRANTS FOR SYNTHETIC TRACKS/ARTIFICIAL SURFACES:  The Central government was giving grants for laying of synthetic tracks and artificial surfaces for hockey and other synthetic surfaces for volleyball, basketball, tennis, etc. With a number of synthetic surfaces having come up backed by financing from State governments, local bodies, etc., the Central government has now decided to concentrate only on hockey turfs and athletics tracks. Accordingly the Central assistance for laying synthetic track/artificial hockey surfaces or replacement of old tracks/surfaces has been fixed for 50 per cent of the cost or Rs one crore, which ever is less.

PROMOTION OF SPORTS IN THE UNIVERSITY SECTOR:  A scheme of grants for promotion of Sports in universities/colleges was revised with effect from 22 June 1998. Tournaments in the disciplines of archery, yachting, kayaking and canoeing, etc., have been introduced; raising the number of disciplines, for prize money from 13 to 20. The Association of Indian universities oversees organisation of coaching camps, sports competitions among college and university students and preparation of Indian university contingents for international competition. The university winning first position in inter-university tournaments held throughout the year is awarded Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy by the President of India, besides a cash incentive of Rs 1,00,000.

NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL FOR WOMEN:  The scheme started in 1975 aims at promoting sports among women. The National Sports Festival organised by Sports Authority of India has now become a significant National Competition for women. Financial assistance is given at the rate of Rs 1,000 per block, Rs 3,000 per district and Rs 10,000 for State-level tournament for larger States and Rs 5,000 for smaller States.

SPORTS SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME:  Sports Talent Search Scholarship scheme launched in 1970-71 has culminated in Sports Scholarship Scheme 1997. National level, State level and university/ college level scholarships at the rate of Rs 600, Rs 450 and Rs 750 per month respectively are given under the scheme.

ASSISTANCE TO PROMISING SPORTS PERSONS: An on-going scheme has been revised to provide assistance to promising sports persons. The selected sports persons holding national records in the priority disciplines will be provided a package of assistance up to Rs five lakh per year for coaching, equipment, participation in national and international tournaments, etc., on a long term basis. The coaches, sports scientists and other sports persons would also be assisted for up-gradation of their skill and assisting the promising sports persons for achieving excellence in international level.

AWARDS:  The Arjuna Award was instituted in 1961 as the highest national recognition conferred on distinguished sports persons. The award consists of a bronze statuette of Arjuna, a scroll, a cash prize of Rs 50,000 and a ceremonial dress. Arjuna Awards for the year 1997 were presented by the President of India to 20 outstanding sports persons at Rashtrapati Bhawan on 29 August 1998. So far 491 sports persons have been given the Awards. Dronacharya Awards, instituted in 1985, are given to coaches who have trained sports persons or teams making outstanding achievements in the year for which the award is given and consistently have very good achievements to their credit for three preceding years. Provisions have been added to the scheme for considering those who have contributed their lifetime to raising the standards of sports coaches. It comprises a statuette, a scroll, ceremonial dress and a tie in addition to a cash prize of Rs 75,000.

GRANTS TO NATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS: The Department gives financial assistance to 59 recognized National Sports Federations for conducting National Sports Championship at sub-junior, junior and senior level at the rate of Rs three lakh, Rs two lakh and Rs one lakh respectively. Financial assistance to priority and general category of sports disciplines is also provided for participation in international sports tournaments/championships abroad and also for organising international tournaments in India.


(1) Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award: Under this scheme an amount of Rs one lakh is given as award for the most spectacular and outstanding performance in the field of sports by an individual sports person or a team. Sachin Tendulkar, cricketer was given this award for 1997-98.

(2) Special Awards to Medal Winners in International Sports Events and their Coaches: To attract the young generation to take sports as a career and to encourage the outstanding sports persons for even higher achievements, special awards to medal winners of international sports events and their coaches were introduced in 1986. The amount of awards has recently been revised which ranges from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 75 lakh.

(3) Pension to Meritorious Sports Persons: Under the scheme launched in 1994 pension is given to winners of medals in Olympic, World Cup and World Championship and Gold Medal in Asian and Commonwealth Games. While Olympic Games medalists and Gold medalists of World Cup and World Championship are given Rs 2,500 per month, the medalists of World Cup and World Championship and Gold Medalists of Asian Games and Common Wealth Games get Rs 2,000 as monthly pension. Pension is given on attaining the age of 30 years which continues till their lifetime. At present 202 sports persons are getting their pensions.

(4) Promotion of Sports in Schools: The scheme was launched in 1986 with the objectives of promoting sports in schools. It has been designed to generate interest in sports and games in school children and place greater emphasis on the organisation of tournaments at various levels. For organising State level tournaments, the State governments are given Rs two lakh while for inter-school tournaments they get Rs 50,000 for one district.

NATIONAL WELFARE FUND FOR SPORTS PERSONS:  National Welfare Fund for sports-persons was created in 1982 primarily to assist sports persons of yester years who are living in indigent circumstances. Financial support is generally in the form of a monthly pension up to Rs 2,500. Lump-sum grants are also given for medical treatment. The sports persons suffering from grevious and fatal injuries in the course of participation in sports events during training are also helped.

RURAL SPORTS PROGRAMME:  The scheme of Rural Sports Programme was launched in 1970-71 and is being operated by SAI. The scheme lays emphasis on arranging tournaments in rural areas and at the block, district, state and national levels. It also includes special component for the North-Eastern Region, i.e., North Eastern Sports Festival. For the organisation of State/UT levels tournaments, an assistance of Rs 30,000 per discipline is given to the State governments and Rs 15,000 per discipline to the Union Territories. Financial assistance of Rs two lakh per discipline is made available to SAI for organizing tournaments in various states by rotation. For North-Eastern Sports Festival, Rs eight lakh is given to SAI for holding the tournaments annually. A provision of Rs 4.50 crore has been made in the Ninth Plan.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION: International cooperation in the field of sports and physical education took a big leap forward, providing the much-needed opportunities of foreign exposure to national teams and coaching/training abroad. The Government of India procured the services of international coaches/sports persons by way of bilateral agreements under cultural exchange programmes/sports protocols with the concerned countries. The foreign coaches are paid salaries, medical expenses, air-fare, etc., during their contract/employment in India.

UNITED NATIONS VOLUNTEER SCHEME: United Nations Volunteer (UNV) Scheme is a scheme of UNDP operating throughout the world. It seeks to accelerate the development of underdeveloped countries by providing skilled manpower of developed/developing countries at low costs. India has been participating in it since its inception in 1971. India also contributes financially to the Special Voluntary Fund of UNDP and its present annual contribution is US dollar 15,000. At present, 53 Indian nationals are working abroad as UNV and 116 are on the Rosters of UNDP awaiting assignment. The 5th of December is celebrated as the International Volunteers Day. The scheme also envisages posting of social service volunteers among the countries of Asia and the Pacific region to work at grass-root level to assist in the local self-help efforts of rural areas and urban slums in participating countries. This is known as UNV (DDS - Domestic Development Service) Scheme. At present, 13 Indian DDS volunteers are working in Bangla Desh and Sri Lanka. UNDP proposes to celebrate 2001 as the International Year of Volunteers worldwide.

NATIONAL SPORTS DEVELOPMENT FUND: A National Sports Development Fund has been set up to mobilize financial resources from Government, corporate and private sector as well as individuals for promotion of sports. The Department has contributed Rs two crore during 1998-99 and also made a provision of Rs two crore during 1999-2000.


1957 The Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education established initially as college.

1961 The Arjuna Award instituted.

1969 National Service Scheme (NSS) launched (2 October).

1970-71 Rural Sports programme launched. Sports Talent Search Scholarship Scheme launched.

1972 Nehru Yuva Kendras came into operation for improving the personnel and employment capability of  non-students and rural youth.

1977-78 The National Service Volunteer Scheme launched.

1982 National Welfare Fund for sportspersons and their families set up.

1984 The Department of Sports re-designated as the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports.

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) set up.

1986-87 Assistance to Youth Club scheme started.

1988 National Youth Policy evolved and tabled in the Parliament.

1991-92 Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award scheme launched.

1994 Sports Fund for Pension to Meritorious Sportspersons Scheme launched.

1994-95 Scheme for setting up of Youth Development Centres for a group of 10 villages each introduced.

1999 The Fifth National Youth Festival formally inaugurated by the Prime Minister in Lucknow (12 January)


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