Sports Authority of India admits India lags behind others in many sports

first_imgIf India’s medals tally at the London Olympics so far wasn’t enough of an indication, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has admitted, in response to Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), that it would take another 10 to 12 years of regular training to reach world standards in sports like cycling, squash, shooting (full bore) and swimming (synchronised and diving).This was in response to question No.17 asked by the PAC to SAI as to how they would like to rectify the issue of training setbacks during the Commonwealth Games.The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in its vetting response, added that this response has to be seen in view of the inadequate training and medical facilities. It also added that there was substantial shortfall in conduct of training camps in the above-mentioned sports.The sports ministry also had an explanation for not setting any medal targets for sportsmen competing in these sports in the CWG 2010. “The objective of these sports was to get creditable performance before the home crowds and prepare platforms for future progress in these sports, which was achieved.”To this, the vetting response of the CAG read: “The reply of the department is not accepted as 1 to 2 medals in cycling, 2 to 4 medals in squash and 30 to 35 medals in shooting disciplines were targetted as per the scheme.”The lackadaisical approach of the SAI revealed itself when the PAC inquired as to what were the reasons for nonengagement of an experienced nutritionist at its Bangalore centre for badminton, shooting, athletics, boxing, squash and cycling camps. The sports ministry reply won it no plaudits from the CAG. The reply stated that food supplements were provided to sportspersons in various disciplines as per the recommendation of the expert committee and there was no requirement of appointing a nutritionist.advertisementCAG found the reply untenable as one of the main objectives of the scheme was to provide the dietary supplements under the supervision of nutritionists and sports doctors. Moreover, providing food supplements to core probables merely on the basis of recommendations of the expert committee was no substitute for an expert nutritionist’s direct supervision on a day-to-day basis.The CAG added in its vetting comment that the implementation of the scheme was marred with delay in construction of infrastructure, provision of equipment, finalisation of core probables, appointment of coaches and under-utilisation of funds, indicating that the facilities intended to be provided were not fully extended to the core probables.last_img