National Sports Federations to be brought under RTI
At a press conference, Secretary Sports Ajit Sharan, said that the National Sports Development Bill was ready and is likely to be introduced in the Parliament in the upcoming winter session. He added that the draft was circulated and comments were sought from all stakeholders. The Sports Minister Sarbanand Sonowal was present when Ajit Sharan made the statement. Sonowal listed the achievements after being in office for 100 days and talked of policies.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has voiced its opposition to many of the provisions of the draft bill like the age and tenure guidelines. The bill requires that all the National Sports Federations (NSFs) accredited to the government have to follow certain conditions
· The office bearers should retire at the age of 70 years, and
· Except for the President who is allowed three consecutive terms, no office-bearers is eligible to contest a third term immediately after completing two successive terms.
Sonowal said that the NSFs are autonomous bodies and have been advised to suo-motu put information on their websites relating to expenditure including money spent on office bearers, the criteria for selection of athletes etc. Sharan was specifically asked about the alleged failure of the government to bring BCCI under the RTI. He replied that the Madras High Court has put a stay and but efforts to bring BCCI within the ambit of RTI are being made.
A Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Scheme was announced for 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games to identify and support potential medal prospects with a focus on seven sports -athletics, archery, wrestling, weightlifting, badminton, boxing and shooting.