Retired Justice Mukundakam Sharma
Retired Justice Mukundakam Sharma
Photo Credit: Water Digest/Twitter

The Ministry for Youth Affairs and Sports has decided to constitute an expert committee to review the National Sports Code draft for good governance.

The committee will also be suggesting measures for making the code acceptable to all the stakeholders so that a balance is struck between autonomy of National Sports Federations (NSF.

The experts will be reviewing the code vis-a-vis the present code and they will also be examining the comments received by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and various NSFs related to the new draft.

Justice Mukundakam Sharma (retd) will be the chairperson of the committee.

Following are the members of the committee: Representative of IOA, Shri Ajay Singh (president of Boxing Federation of India), Sudhanshu Mittal (president Kho Kho Federation of India), BP Baishya (president of Indian Weightlifting Federation), Adille Sumeriwala (president of Athletics Federation of India), Pullela Gopichand (badminton coach), A Jayathilak IAS (principal secretary of sports, government of Kerela), Director General of SAI or his representative, Anju Bobby George (medallist of World Athletics Championship, footballer Baichung Bhutia, Olympic medalist Gagan Narang.

Joint Secretary of Sports will act as the coordinator in the committee.

Earlier, the IOA had rejected the new National Sports Code draft and had also raised questions over many articles that are present in the newly crafted draft.

The newly crafted draft proposed changes in the original 2011 code. It included the barring of ministers, members of parliament and legislative assemblies from holding office in National Sports Federation and IOA.

It also focussed on tenure restrictions and age cap of 70 years. It also called upon the National Sports Federations' (NSFs) to appoint CEO.

However, while rejecting the National sports Code draft 2017, the IOA said that the latest draft does not include or specify the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Paralympic Committee of India (PCI).

The IOA also said that in the code, there is no differentiation mentioned for NSFs that exclusively govern sports for the disabled and Special Olympics.

Regarding the age cap of 70 years for its office bearers, the IOA said that the norm is in tune with the Olympic charter but the International Olympic Committee has not enforced it on all international federations.

The IOA also went on to propose that every NSF should be allowed to follow the age limit of their respective international federation, or a uniform age limit of 75 should be imposed.

The IOA in its feedback had also strongly objected to the exclusion of State and Union Territories Olympic Associations as the members of the National Olympic Committee in the newly crafted draft.

Regarding the Athletes Commission, the IOA said that the commission would be in compliance with the guidelines of IOC and it would oppose government's intervention in the matter and it also objected to CAG audit of its accounts as it "does not avail government funding for its administration".

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