Skip to main content

Challenges for a new IOA

For more than 14 months, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) stubbornly refused to listen to reason. It engaged in a ‘no-win’ stand-off with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), staking the country’s Olympic future. It drew contempt for its officials amidst a power struggle, before accepting the inevitable. Suspended by the IOC in December 2012 for violation of the Olympic
Charter, the IOA eventually bowed to every diktat of the former in holding fresh elections on February 9 under IOC-dictated rules. This has paved the way for India’s return to the Olympic fold. What started off as a tussle between the Union government and the IOA regarding the implementation of the National Sports Code, ended up in a ‘cleansing’ operation that kept out officials “charge-framed” by courts from the elections ordered by the IOC. The IOC advocates ‘principles of good governance’ while the IOA has through the years tried to hide behind the cloak of ‘autonomy’ ordained in the Charter. The government, faced with criticism both within and outside Parliament about poor administration of sports in the country, had started tightening the rules governing the IOA and the national federations, when the IOC slapped the suspension on India.
The quick response of the IOC in lifting the suspension to enable the Indian tricolour to be flown at the ongoing Winter Olympics at Sochi, Russia, showed that it was completely satisfied with a repentant IOA. The IOC might have managed to push through more stringent clauses than that could have been possible in other times while demanding clarity to the IOA constitution. But problem areas still remain. The IOA could be expected to bargain hard with the government in order to retain what is left of its autonomy and that of the national federations when the draft National Sports Development Bill is amended. The 25 per cent representation in the Executive to Athletes’ Commission members, as incorporated in the draft, is far from reality. The continuation of State Olympic associations as voting-members in the IOA, in a clear attempt to manipulate vote banks, is much against the provisions in the Olympic Charter, and the wishes of the IOC and the government. National federations in boxing, fencing and taekwondo remain suspended by the respective international federations and were barred from voting in the recent IOA elections. The IOA needs to facilitate their quick return to international sports. Faction feuds within federations should be tackled urgently, and so too questions related to the democratic functioning of the sports bodies that have come up in court cases. The IOA chief, N. Ramachandran, who represents a new phase and has taken over in challenging circumstances, has his task cut out.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

Khar’s experimentation with Himalayan nettle brings recognition (downtoearth)

Nature never fails to surprise us. In many parts of the world, natural resources are the only source of livelihood opportunities available to people. They can be in the form of wild shrubs like Daphne papyracea and Daphne bholua (paper plant) that are used to make paper or Gossypium spp (cotton) that forms the backbone of the textile industry.

Nothing can compete with the dynamism of biological resources. Recently, Girardinia diversifolia (Himalayan nettle), a fibre-yielding plant, has become an important livelihood option for people living in the remote mountainous villages of the Hindu Kush Himalaya.

There is a community in Khar, a hamlet in Darchula district in far-western Nepal, which produces fabrics from Himalayan nettle. The fabric and the things made from it are sold in local as well as national and international markets as high-end products.

A Himalayan nettle value chain development initiative implemented by the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiati…

NGT terminates chairmen of pollution control boards in 10 states (downtoearth,)

Cracking the whip on 10 State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) for ad-hoc appointments, the National Green Tribunal has ordered the termination of Chairpersons of these regulatory authorities. The concerned states are Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Kerala, Rajasthan, Telangana, Haryana, Maharashtra and Manipur. The order was given last week by the principal bench of the NGT, chaired by Justice Swatanter Kumar.

The recent order of June 8, 2017, comes as a follow-up to an NGT judgment given in August 2016. In that judgment, the NGT had issued directions on appointments of Chairmen and Member Secretaries of the SPCBs, emphasising on crucial roles they have in pollution control and abatement. It then specified required qualifications as well as tenure of the authorities. States were required to act on the orders within three months and frame Rules for appointment [See Box: Highlights of the NGT judgment of 2016 on criteria for SPCB chairperson appointment].

Having fai…