New Delhi: Veteran sports administrator V K Malhotra was on Monday named by the government as head of the All India Council of Sports, which will have a host of eminent sports persons, including cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar and chess wizard Vishwanathan Anand, as members.
83-year-old Malhotra, who has reportedly quit as President of Archery Association of India after 40 years at the helm of affairs, will be given an equivalent rank of a Minister of State in the Union Council of Ministers.
Other former sportspersons in the council include P T Usha, Limba Ram, N Kunjarani Devi, IM Vijayan, Baichung Bhutia and P Gopichand.
"We congratulate Mr V K Malhotra on his appointment as All India Council of Sports President. He is stalwart in sports administration in the country. We hope he will a do great job in his new assignment," IOA Secretary General Rajiv Mehta told PTI.
IOA treasure Anil Khanna also welcomed Malhotra's appointment.
"He is a veteran administrator and brings a lot to the table with his vast experience. This is very welcome move," Khanna, who is also AITA President, told PTI.
The Council will be an advisory body for the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and will advise the Ministry on matters relating to the promotion and development of sports and games in the country including popularising sports amongst the youth as a way of life; increasing outreach of sports to rural and tribal areas, areas affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE), North East and Jammu & Kashmir.
Among the officials in the council are the President and General Secretary of the IOA, Star India CEO Uday Shankar, Sports Authority of Gujarat Director General Sandeep Pradhan, Union Sports Secretary, Sports Secretaries of Madhya Pradesh and Assam, Sports Authority of India Director General, National Anti Doping Agency Director General, Vice Chancellor of Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education (LNIPE) and Joint Secretary in the Sports Ministry.
Former IOA Secretary General and current Asian Athletics Athletics Vice-President Lalit Bhanot said, "As the acting vice president of the IOA, he has done and admirable job. He is an administrator who always thought about the athletes."
IOA joint secretary Rakesh Gupta, Athletics Federation of India President Adille Sumariwalla and Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Saran also congratulated Malhotra.
According to a sports ministry release, the Council will also advise the ministry on implementation of policies for promotion of sports and games in the country; matters relating to promotion of inclusiveness in sports with special focus on women, differently-abled, tribals etc.
The Council also also advise on the matters of preventing drug abuse in sports, fraud of age and sexual harassment of women in sports; bringing professionalism, transparency and good governance in functioning of National Sports Federations; ways and means to raise resources for the promotion of sports and games in the country.
Apart from that it will also provide guidance on promotion of sports sciences and sports medicine; augmenting sports infrastructure and ensuring its proper utilisation; issues arising out of match fixing and other malpractices in competitive sports; early identification of sports talent and nurturing of the identified talent; integration of sports in educational curriculum in schools, colleges and universities; welfare measures for sports persons, will be among other areas of focus for the Council.
The Council may organise national, international conferences, seminars, symposia etc., for promotion of sports and games in the country.
The Council will meet from time to time, at least once in a quarter a year, and deliberate on matters relating to the promotion and development of sports and games in the country.