CHENNAI: Meritorious sportspersons including those competing in indigenous and traditional sports like mallakhamb, tug-of-war and roll ball will now be eligible under the sports quota for central government jobs.
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has accepted a proposal in this regard from the Department of Sports and added 20 new disciplines to the list on Tuesday. The addition means the list has now swelled to 63.
Speaking on the decision, sports minister Kiren Rijiju said, "To ensure the overall welfare of our athletes is of primary importance for the government and the proposal to include more sporting disciplines in the DoPT list is a step in that direction."
Earlier, athletes of 43 disciplines were eligible for jobs in the Government of India and in various ministries. The sports ministry took up the matter with the DoPT for revision of the list of sports, which was last revised in October 2013. Athletes who have performed well in international events such as the Asian Games, Olympics and other championships in these newly added disciplines will now benefit under the sports quota.
"It (revision of list) will be beneficial not only to boost the morale of the sportspersons who are performing at national and international events but will also help to create a positive environment for the overall development of sports in the country,” added Rijiju.
Yogesh Malviya, who recently became the country's first National Sports Award winner in mallakhamb when he was conferred with the Dronacharya award in the regular category, believed the decision will boost the popularity of the sport in the country. "Despite being one of the oldest sports in the country, mallakhamb hardly got the notice it deserves. My award made it familiar among the general public and the government's decision will make it popular among the masses," Malviya said.
The revised list, issued by the DoPT, includes 20 new disciplines: Baseball, body building (was included as part of gymnastics previously), cycling polo, deaf sports, fencing, kudo, mallakhamb, motorsports, net ball, para sports (disciplines included in Paralympics and Para Asian Games), pencak silat, roll ball, rugby, sepak takraw, soft tennis, shooting ball, tenpin bowling, triathlon, tug-of-war and wushu.