Sports 'redefined' for quota

Aatya-patya and tug-of-war champions bagging engg, medical seats

This eligibility criteria is not for a rural sports meet but to find a place in the list for CET 2009 under sports quota.Besides irregularities, the list also contains over 30 candidates from martial arts like karate and taekwondo, simply because their federations are under dispute.

But more interestingly, the eligible list includes four tennis-ball cricket players, eight atya patya players, two tug-of -war players, eight roller skaters and six tennikoit players.

Loose ends

Further, the list approved by both, the Karnataka Examination Authority and the Department of Youth Services and Sports (DYSS), has several loose ends. According to the rules, sports quota seats are awarded to medal winners or participants under three categories - 1) Participants in category super, A - Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth and International Representation 2) Participants in category A - SAF Games, Afroasian Games, 3) Medal winners in category B - national games, and national meets.

Interestingly, the first preference in the sports quota list has been given to a tennikoit player. And the first and only international competition in tennikoit, the world championship was conducted back in 2006 in Chennai.

Further, one of the candidates in Preference category-II is a tennis-ball cricket player, hardly an international or even a national sport.

Under the scanner

The eligibility criteria for sports quota was put under the scanner recently, by representatives of COMED-K, who had expressed their displeasure amongst other things at the sports quota as being one of the ‘exit windows’ in the CET seat selection process. Notably, some members had alleged that the Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA) lacked transparency and was functioning as an ‘extended arm of the government’.

A principal of a COMED-K institution said, “Very often, candidates seek medical seats under the sports quota in a sport like tennikoit or atya patya. There are hardly any tournaments or even awareness about the sport. This is one of the quotas, which lacks transparency among many others.” An official at the DYSS accepted that most of the candidates who take up seats under the sports quota, often discontinue their sports or simply use it as a tool to secure seats.

According to the Secretary of the Karnataka State atya patya Federation in Davangere, H B Hallad, there are about 50 players of the sport who have taken up seats under the quota in the past but none claimed seats in 2009. “There were a few eligible candidates this year too, but nobody claimed seats,” Hallad said.

However, officials at the KEA and DYSS insisted that the admissions and eligibility criteria for sports quota students was done according to the rules and that eligibility was determined after thorough consideration. And believe it or not, tennis ball cricket, atya patya, tennikoit and sepak takraw figure prominently among sports that are eligible, even if they are not recognised as international or national sports.

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