Arun Jaitley advises NSFs to professionalise admin structure
In a significant statement pertaining to the functioning of National Sports Federations, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said that the NSFs should "professionalise their administrative structure rather than continue as oligarchies".
New Delhi: In a significant statement pertaining to the functioning of National Sports Federations, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said that the NSFs should "professionalise their administrative structure rather than continue as oligarchies".
Jaitley's remarks, which he made as a chief guest at the Conference of Ministers and Secretaries of States/Union Territories in-charge of Youth Affairs and Sports here, assumes significance as many of the office bearers of NSFs hold on to their posts for many years or exert influence even after demitting office.
Jaitley, who increased the sports ministry's budget allocation to around Rs 380 crore as compared to that of last year, said that the NSFs play a big role in the development of sports in the country but they have not being able to generate their own revenue and be self sufficient.
"There is a complex sports management structure in the country. Sports is a state subject as it is in State List of the Constitution of India. So, it's the primary responsibility of the states to develop sports. The efforts to bring sports to Concurrent List failed in the past," he said.
"NSFs do the actual management of various sports and they play a big role in development of sports. Central government comes in for the management of sportspersons in representing the country internationally. A delicate balance will have to be maintained among the three.
"The NSFs should professionalise their administrative structure rather than being reduced to oligarchies," Jaitley said while giving suggestion on how to raise the profile of Indian sports.
The minister lamented the shortage of sports infrastructure in the country and said except for the BCCI, no sports federation has been able to contribute in infrastructure building.
"The country is short of sporting infrastructure in all sports except cricket. In a small way there is corporate support in tennis and golf but all other NSFs are not self sufficient," said Jaitley who also holds the portfolios of Corporate Affairs and Information and Broadcasting in the Union Cabinet.
Praising the BCCI for its self sufficiency and for building world class cricket infrastructure in the country, Jaitley suggested that the NSFs should be linked to corporates under the Corporate Social Responsibility.
"The BCCI has constructed world-class infrastructure including stadia which are not owned by government but by the BCCI. This has thrown open a lot of cricketing talent from which to choose to represent the country.
"The NSFs are not being able to do this like in cricket and so the government will have to come in. I am willing to support but the states will have to come in and NSFs will have to look for own revenue to build infrastructure," Jaitley said in the presence of Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
"Funding for sports training now qualifies for Corporate Social Responsibility worth thousands of crores. So, NSFs can be linked to corporate houses for CSR funding for training of sportspersons," said Jaitley who was earlier a BCCI Vice-President and also a current member of Hockey India League Advisory Board.
Jaitley also suggested that India should concentrate on a few sports of core competence to win medals in Olympics while broad-basing sports at the grassroot level to nurture talent in all disciplines.
"Every country cannot be equally good in all the sports. England revived their sporting fortunes after concentrating in five-six sports and they got medals in the 2012 Olympics in these sports. We also have to concentrate on a few sports like hockey, tennis, wrestling, archery, shooting and boxing so that we can win medals in the Olympics in these sports.
"We have to give special target to our core competence to win Olympic medals. China did like this before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and Korea also before the Seoul Olympics in 1988. Then prepared themselves and then leapfrogged by hosting major sporting events.
"Last time, India won six medals in the Olympics and I hope there will be an upswing in the number of medals in the next Olympics," Jaitley said.