Ministry to crack the whip on NSFs

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore

Sports Ministry has decided to crack the whip on National Sports Federations and its affiliated state units over the National Sports Development Code of India (NSDCI).

To make the government stand known firmly, Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has written a letter to the chief ministers of all states seeking their assistance in the implementation of the code.

Seeking good governance and transparency, the government had issued NSDCI in 2011. The code, which includes restrictions on age and tenure of the office-bearers, was vehemently opposed by the NSFS and IOA, who moved court in 2012. However, the Delhi High Court dismissed the petition in 2014 and upheld the authority of the government to lay down instructions for the sports bodies.

Still, the NSDCI is still not followed by all NSFs and many of their state affiliated units, prompting the government to take such step. In his letter, written earlier this month, Rathore said: “Government has since applied the provisions of the NSDCI to the national level sports federations. Non-compliance of the guidelines entail suspension/withdrawal of the recognition of the NSFs consequent to which the NSFs become ineligible to receive finance and other assistance under the various schemes of the government. However, it is felt that the efforts of the governance and ethical practices are defeated unless the affiliated units of NSFs ie State/UT sports associations are also compliant with such provisions. “It has been brought to the notice that almost all the affiliated units are not adhering to the good governance provisions in the absence of such instructions and laws. As a result, state/district level sports bodies are run as a fiefdom of a few people.”

Citing ‘sports’ to be a state subject, Rathore said it was necessary to enforce the provisions of NSDCI to bring good governance provisions and transparency in the functioning of all the state and district level sports associations.

“This step is considered necessary for raising the level of sports in the country. To this effect, Secretary (sports) had written to the chief secretaries of all the states/UTS/ Advisors Administrators,” he wrote.

“Since the NSDCI enunciates the basic universal principles of good governance, ethics and fair play required for sports development, I hope that you will look into the matter personally and instruct the chief secretary and sports secretary of your state to take immediate steps in this connection. This will go a long way to free the state/district level sports bodies, which are run as a fiefdom by a few bureaucrats/politicians, etc and contribute significantly for the development of sports in the country.

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Ministry to crack the whip on NSFs

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