Free Press Journal

Arjuna Awardees selection “extremely fair”: Sports Secretary


New Delhi: With cue sports stars crying foul over their omission from the Arjuna Awards list this year, Sports Secretary Ajit Sharan today said that they have been “extremely fair” and “transparent” in choosing the names for the prestigious honour. Asian billiards champion Sourav Kothari, and the women’s duo of Vidya Pillai and Chitra Magimairaj, whose Arjuna nominations were rejected recently had urged the ministry to reconsider their names but Sharan is clear that the awards spell justice.

“Everybody is free to have their own perception about everything. We have been extremely fair with the Arjuna Awardees. There are so many nominations every year and many deserving winners receive the prestigious honour. It is very difficult to please everyone. Some sportpersons might have felt that there has been a bias but we have been absolutely fair and transparent,” Sharan told mediapersons at the launch of the School Sports Promotion Foundation (SSPF) programme in association with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) here.

“Similarly with the TOPS scheme, which is targeted at sportpersons eyeing an Olympic medal. While some non-Olympic sports stars might want their discipline to be included, but as per our priority, at the moment, we have 6-7 Olympic sports under the scheme,” he added.

Also talking on the issue of age fraud in sports, Sharan said that a digital software is the need of the moment. “Issue of age fraud is serious. We will build a software to check the age fraud. But everybody should take care of this matter including coaches and parents, who themselves are sometimes responsible for this,” he said.

“We had asked the some federations to get this software in place, and Squash and Taekwando federations have complied. They have a software in which a pin number is given to the player, which is carried on throughout his professional career. With the help of SAI, I believe we are in the process of developing a software which can be put into use in another three months time, he added.