KOCHI: In an effort to infuse professionalism, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has decided to make use of sports management experts who were temporarily appointed with the apex sports body.
Run-up to the Rio Olympics saw SAI utilise the services of 10 experts on contract basis. According to feedback that their work was beneficial in implementation of programs, and review that lack of awareness on sports among most of existing bureaucrats in SAI was impeding proper execution of plans, the current decision was taken, sources revealed.
“There were a lot of hiccups while implementing the projects in SAI, because most of officers in-charge were not versed in sports matters. So the decision was taken to make long-term use of sports management experts,” said a senior SAI official.
The decision to appoint experts was informed by SAI DG Injeti Srinivas at the body’s Governing Council meet in Delhi in the last week of September. One attendee said the decision will play a key role in India’s preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“So far, we had depended on SAI babus for projects. What we felt is that most of them have scant idea of what sports is. Some of them couldn’t even make out what ‘peaking’ was. In such an environment, it’s very difficult to successfully implement plans, and they’re not yielding desired results,” he said.
At the meeting, senior SAI officials elaborated that lack of funds is hurting functioning of the organisation, and it would be difficult to introduce any new projects because of cash crunch. “SAI was allocated `369.39 crore this year. But that is not enough to even properly run existing SAI programs. SAI has to spend on almost 16 centres, and more than 40 disciplines, and it’s not possible with this amount. We feel there is a deficit of `350-400 crore. If new funds are not released in the next budget, it will be difficult to even successfully run the ongoing projects. Forget new ones,” a senior SAI official told The Sunday Standard.