Jaitley, Prabhu object downgrading of SSCB, RSPB

Jaitley said the “rationale” behind the decision of removing voting rights from SSCB “is not clear.”   -  PTI

Two senior Union Ministers have raised objections to the move that deprives the Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) and Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) of voting rights in National Sports Federations (NSFs) and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

In separate letters to Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu have questioned the logic behind downgrading the status of two major sports boards, which have provided supply lines to Indian sports over the years.

In a letter to the NSFs and the IOA on February 23, the Sports Ministry had said that as per the new provision of the National Sports Development Code of India (NSDCI) 2011, “only one state/union territory association from each state/UT shall be admitted as a member of an NSF…Any organisation of an all India standing and connected with the sport may be given the status of a state or that of an UT and admitted as an affiliated member.

“Other categories of membership may also be given but while each affiliated State/UT shall have a right to cast vote in the General Body meeting, no other class of members shall have any right to vote in the NSFs' meetings. While granting recognition/affiliation to a state/UT association, the NSF should take into consideration the representative character of the state/UT association so as to ensure that only truly representative body of the game gets recognition/affiliation.

“It has come to the notice that many NSFs have given voting rights to the member such as Sports Promotion Boards, Association of Indian Universities etc which is not in accordance with the provision of the NSDCI.”

Jaitley said the “rationale” behind the decision of removing voting rights from SSCB, which was one of the founding members of the NSFs and the IOA, and has contributed immensely in sports, “is not clear.”

Pointing out that Services not only wins medals but also provides a talented pool of sportspersons to the country for major sporting events, including the Olympics, Jaitley said top three teams of each game “maybe given functional status in technical and executive committees to strengthen the system.”

The Defence Minister requested the withdrawal of the advisory commitee for removing voting rights from SSCB.

Railways Minister Prabhu regretted the Sports Ministry’s decision to withdraw voting rights from RSPB, which has been playing a prominent role in the field of sports since 1928. "It has 3000 active sportspersons (including around 1200 national and international medallists) on its rolls" and "almost one-third of the Indian contingent to the 2016 Rio Olympics" was from RSPB.

Prabhu said the above-stated portion of the NSDCI “seems to be erroneous interpretation and requires to be re-examined.”