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.


Popular posts from this blog

Cloud seeding

Demonstrating the function of the flare rack that carries silver iodide for cloud-seeding through an aircraft. 
Water is essential for life on the earth. Precipitation from the skies is the only source for it. India and the rest of Asia are dependent on the monsoons for rains. While the South West Monsoon is the main source for India as a whole, Tamil Nadu and coastal areas of South Andhra Pradesh get the benefit of the North East Monsoon, which is just a less dependable beat on the reversal of the South West Monsoon winds.

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 …

India’s criminal wastage: over 10 million works under MGNREGA incomplete or abandoned (hindu)

In the last three and half years, the rate of work completion under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has drastically declined, leading to wastage of public money and leaving villages more prone to drought. This could also be a reason for people moving out of the programme.

At a time when more than one-third of India’s districts are reeling under a drought-like situation due to deficit rainfall, here comes another bad news. The works started under the MGNREGA—close to 80 per cent related to water conservation, irrigation and land development—are increasingly not being completed or in practice, abandoned.

Going by the data (as on October 12) in the Ministry of Rural Development’s website, which tracks progress of MGNREGA through a comprehensive MIS, 10.4 million works have not been completed since April 2014. In the last three and half years, 39.7 million works were started under the programme. Going by the stipulation under the programme, close to 7…