CHENNAI: The National Sports Federations are in trouble once again. The tussle between the government and federations over control has taken another twist after Niti Aayog has stated all NSFs must be treated as NGOs.
The federations are shocked. Though some of the NSFs have already signed in to the Niti-Aayog’s NGO-Partnership System (PS) Portal to receive funds and have technically agreed to be treated as an NGO, some federations are seeking legal opinion on this.
Some of the lawyers Express spoke to agreed as soon as they sign in to the portal they can be treated as an NGO and have to follow all rules and guidelines.
They also believe their autonomy too may not get affected as much as their independence. However, the federations feel in all likelihood this can be treated as government interference. “This will give them leverage to control us directly,” said a federation official. No matter what the federations think, top officials in the ministry felt in the end federations have to yield otherwise grants will stop. The issues that the federations need to worry about are the guidelines for NGOs. Niti Aayog has laid down a few guidelines for NGOs.
One such sticky point states: “For NGOs which are in receipt of grant from a ministry on regular basis, a third party evaluation may be necessary specifically to evaluate the focus and sensitivity of the NGOs towards the main issues in the project, organizational capacity and programme delivery. This process may help in weeding out non-performing NGOs.” “One must find out from the ministry who will evaluate NSFs’ programme and their results,” said a senior federation official. Some NSFs are even arguing that government transgression was unwarranted after they have started adhering to the Sports Code. “We are already under RTI and we already file our audits,” said an official.
Transparency apart, the latest move doesn’t make too much sense. According to some NSF officials they should have been treated like an NGO right from the beginning. “Why now?” asked one.