Blend of autonomy, accountability way forward for sports: AICS

Addressing the media on Saturday, the president of AICS, Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra, who has quit as the president of the Archery Association of India, said the national federations had the right to autonomy, but there was an understandable stress on accountability, for the progress of sports in the country.

The AICS president opined the sports budget needs to be about Rs. 12,500 crore instead of the current allocation of about Rs. 900 crore.   -  Sushil Kumar Verma

A fine blend of autonomy with accountability has been viewed as the way forward for sports in the country by the All India Council of Sports (AICS) which had its first meeting in the Capital.

Addressing the media on Saturday, the president of AICS, Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra, who has quit as the president of the Archery Association of India, said the national federations had the right to autonomy, but there was an understandable stress on accountability, for the progress of sports in the country.

Even though prominent sports personalities such as Sachin Tendulkar were unable to attend the meeting owing to various reasons, Prof. Malhotra said the members made it a fruitful meeting with constructive suggestions.

Need more Olympians

Looking at the immediate task of faring well in the Rio Olympics, for which 60 had qualified including the hockey teams of men and women, Prof. Malhotra said that more sports persons were expected to qualify for the Games and take the number to about 90.

While announcing the broad-basing of sports and setting up of about one million sports clubs across the country, particularly in thousands of villages to tap rural strength, the AICS president opined the sports budget needs to be about Rs. 12,500 crore instead of the current allocation of about Rs. 900 crore.

States, corporate houses should support sports

Apart from government funds, it was agreed that corporate houses and States should each adopt sports disciplines and support them extensively. It was felt the rewards for medals in prestigious international competitions should be uniform across the country, from the current situation of different States rewarding in different scales for similar achievements.

It was also stressed that the disputes in various national federations need to be addressed quickly and immediate steps taken to resolve the issues. On the doping front, “out of competition” testing should be strengthened and awareness created among the athletes.

Prominent among the many recommendations were the setting up of specialised sports academy for differently abled sports persons, introduction of sports science subjects in medical colleges and incorporation of yoga in all wellness programmes, promotion of indigenous games and martial arts in association with Ministry of Culture.

Dignitaries

The meeting was attended by sports personalities PT Usha, Kunjarani Devi and Lima Ram; officials of the Union Sports Ministry and the Sports Authority of India (SAI); president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), N. Ramachandran; president of Indian Sports Medicine Federation, Dr. P. S. M. Chandran; Vice-Chancellor of Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education, Gwalior, Dr. Dilip K. Dureha; Commissioner of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, SK Mall; former Sports Minister of Uttarakhand, Narayan Singh Rana; among others.