Vijay wants officer-ranked post

Updated: Aug 16, 2012, 21:44 PM IST

New Delhi: Olympic silver medallist shooter Vijay Kumar was happy after being promoted to the post of Subedar Major but felt he deserved to be elevated to an officer-ranked post after his exploits at the international stage over the years.

The 26-year-old Vijay was today promoted and given a cash award of Rs. 30 lakh with Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh promising all help to elevate him to the rank of an officer.

"I am happy with the promotion. I have no issues with the Army. It is because of them I am here but thinking about one`s career is not also bad. So I have kept my points and if something positive comes out, I will continue in Army," Vijay told reporters after a felicitation programme here.

"It is not an officer-ranked post. It is a junior commissioned rank, not a senior commissioned rank (officer post). My request for a senior commissioned rank is pending and in 5-6 months, we will get the result.

"(Ajay) Maken sir has also assured ... The cabinet has also passed a regulation that if you bring medal then IAS ranked jobs will be given. So let`s see," he added.

Elaborating on his promotion, Vijay said, "It was a pending decision. It has been cleared now. Two promotions out of turn is allowed and I was given that. Last year, I had filled up a willing form in seniority.

"In December last year, it was supposed to be decided but I came to know my name was not there in merit list. So I filled up the form again, So this decision came today," said Vijay who was handed Rs 25 lakh by SAIL for winning a silver in the just-concluded London Olympics.

Vijay was promoted from rank of Subedar to Subedar Major in a ceremony where Gen Singh and Army Vice Chief Lt Gen S K Singh pipped-in his ranks on his shoulders.

"This commission (to the grade of officer) has to be granted by the President and certain rules have to be followed. We will provide all help to him as he is very capable ... He talks in English and is very educated and has the capabilities to become an officer. We will further strengthen his capabilities to make him a commissioned officer," the Army Chief said.

Vijay, who hails from Harsour village of Hamirpur district in Himachal Pradesh, won the 25m rapid fire pistol silver in London. The pistol shooter will be next seen in action during the World Cup in China.

"I have World Cup final in China after two months. I will start training in another 10-15 days. There is also national championship and then World Cups will start," he said.

Vijay is also in the running for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award and is clubbed with around nine other nominees, including retired cricketer Rahul Dravid.

Asked about his aspiration regarding the Award, Vijay said, "I am not competing with anyone, my competition is with myself. My name has been forwarded and let`s see what happens. I am hopeful like anybody else."

At the 2006 Commonwealth Games, Vijay had won two gold medals. In the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, he bettered his performance, wining three gold medals and one silver.

Asked how he took up shooting, Vijay said it happened by chance and he never had any role model in his life.

"Somehow by chance I took up shooting. I joined Indian Army in 2001 and after that for two years I did training. Somehow, I got a chance for shooting and I started," he said.

"There was no role model. In 2003 who was there? It was only in 2004 (Rajyavardhan Singh) Rathore got silver and in 2008 Abhinav got gold," he said.

Ask him about his future expectations now that he an Olympic silver medallist, he replied, "Expectations are non-sense.

"There is no guarantee that once you have won, you will keep winning every time. No one knows what will happen. If I win, well and good, and if not then next tournament. You win only after losing, that is how it is," he said.

"I don`t have any special expectation. It all depends on situation and accordingly you plan. I just want to carry my form and maintain performance. I am a sportsperson and I will work hard and give my best," he added.