New Delhi: Plagued by controversies they might be, but Sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Sunday said there is no need to review the selection policy for the National Sports Awards.
Like the last few years, the awards were making headlines for all the wrong reasons this year too. Paralympian HN Girisha moved a Bangalore court against Sania Mirza being conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna while wrestling coach Vinod Kumar moved Delhi High Court against Anup Kumar Dahiya being given Dronacharya award.
Asked about the controversies, Sonowal defended all the decisions taken by the selection panel. "I believe everybody in this country has the democratic right to ask why (I didn't get the award). But our selection panel did a very fair and transparent job and I don't see any reason to review the selection process," Sonowal told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar organised with past Arjuna awardees in attendance.
Sonowal expressed confidence that India's Olympic preparation is going on in right earnest and the contingent will better its performance from six medals at the London Games.
"Everyone knows that we have created the TOPS (Target Olympic Podium Scheme). We have identified potential medal winners and we hope they will perform well," said the sports minister. Sonowal also didn't read too much into the dismal performance of the Indian athletics contingent at the World Championship.
"They have tried their best and they will certainly do better. I have confidence in them," he said. He also congratulated the women's hockey team for qualifying for the Olympics after a gap of 36 years.
"It is a great achievement for the Indian women's hockey team to have qualified for the Rio Olympics. This will be a great morale booster for the team. I am proud of their achievement," the minister said.