After defying the National Sports Development Code (NSDC) for years, the Archery Association of India (AAI) on Wednesday adopted the code and paved the way for regaining its recognition from the Indian government. At an emergent meeting in Delhi, the AAI general council, comprising 25 members from different state units, adopted the NSDC, which promotes good governance and transparency, into its constitution.
“The amendments included all the age and tenure-related clauses – such as 70 years as the upper age limit, 12 years’ term and cooling off period, etc. – relating to a candidate’s eligibility to be an office-bearer,” said a key office-bearer of the AAI. “Besides, a doping-related article suggested by the World Archery Federation has been adopted into the laws of the game,” he said.
In December 2012, the Union Sports Ministry had de-recognised the AAI for not following the NSDC in its elections. In defiance of the government guidelines, the AAI had chosen seasoned sports administrator V. K. Malhotra as its president, violating the tenure and age restrictions.
The Sports Ministry, nevertheless, continued to support the archers for training camps and competitions. After the appointment of Malhotra as the chairman of the All India Council of Sports last year, the AAI showed its interest in adopting the NSDC. Meanwhile, Justice (retd.) Kailash Gambhir of Delhi High Court has been appointed the returning officer for the upcoming AAI elections.
Since the government is in the process of revising the NSDC and adding a few provisions of the Lodha Committee recommendations meant for the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the AAI would wait to adopt those changes into its constitution as well before going into the polls.
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