In a big striking move, Government of India officially recognised ‘E-Sports’ (Electronic Sports) as a part of “Multi-sports” events. Department of Sports under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports will overlook all the aspects in E-Sports. Similarly, ‘Online Gaming’ will be under MEITY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology).
The President of India, Droupadi Murmu, in exercise of the powers “conferred by clause (3) of article 77 of the Constitution” amended the rules governing Esports and asked the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Sports Ministry to include “e-Sports as part of multi-sports events”.
There had been a growing demand for Esports to be included in the curriculum of multi-discipline events after it was included in the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games as a demonstration sport, meaning medals won in the sport were not counted in the official overall medals tally.
Under the Cabinet Secretariat, the addition of “esports” was notified under the sub-heading Department of Sports under, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The notification was sent on December 23, 2022 marked on memo No: S.O.6062(E). This is a prominent step towards regularising an industry that brings in millions if not billions of dollars every year in terms of investments and expenditures. The Government has made its intentions and willingness to boost the digital economy and gaming (now can be called esports) in India.
According to the Department of Publication from the Directorate of Printing, this change is added as the 370th Amendment to the Allocation of Business Rules of 1961 relating to online gaming and e-sports. This amendment will be added in Part II-Section 3-Sub-Section (ii) of the rules.
“With the latest announcement and India recently competing for medals at the inaugural Esports Asian Games, people are shaking off the misconceptions linked with esports as a passion or career option. The year 2023 beholds greater opportunities for esports and we are anticipating more favourable developments, only making it bigger. It surely has been a great year for Indian esports,” Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India & Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF) said.