AP DSC: Tweaks in sports quota urged

Aspirants seek recognition of 65 sports; OC candidates demand rise in age limit to 47 years
The voice of aspirants demanding the government to address various issues has been increasing.
The voice of aspirants demanding the government to address various issues has been increasing.Photo | Express Illustration

VIJAYAWADA: Since the Cabinet had approved the conduct of Mega DSC-2024 to fill 16,347 posts, the voice of aspirants demanding the government to address various issues has been increasing.

Lapses of previous government and sports authorities have caused many individuals to lose their eligibility for all government jobs including APDSC, pushing the new government into a quagmire. On one hand, aspirants belonging to the general category are pressing the government to rise the age limit bar to 47 years. On the other hand, the government was urged to address the issues related to the sports quota before releasing the notification of DSC.

Sports aspirants are now demanding modifications in Sports Quota GO No. 10 (Education), released on July 15, 2008, which recognises only 29 sports, while the Central government recognises 65 sports.

This limited spectrum of recognised sports by the State government has made it difficult for those excelling in other nationally recognised sports to secure reservation in Andhra Pradesh. Additionally, GO No. 74 (Jobs), released on August 9, 2012, shows a discrepancy as it provides government sector opportunities to athletes in only 30 sports.

Despite repeated requests to address this discrimination, aspirants alleged that the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) authorities have ignored the pleas. Furthermore, the Andhra Pradesh Sports Policy 2017-2022 GO No. 8, which ended on March 31, 2022, has not been updated, showcasing negligence towards sports development in the State.

Even though the SAAP had recognised 21 sports associations during the 2019-21 period, the number has dropped to 17 during 2022-23. Of these, 10 sports associations were renewed and seven were new.

Concerned about the youth losing passion for sports due to the government’s apathy, Andhra Pradesh Soft Tennis Association chairman Daram Naveen Kumar said that the announcement of Mega DSC has increased hopes in unemployed sportspersons. He urged the government to release the DSC notification after making amendments to GO No. 10 and 74, following the sports code defined by GO No. 490 and 272.

Criticising the previous government for not supporting the sportspersons in State, AP Cycling Association general secretary Potluri Murali said that the authorities had failed to provide benefits, give reservations, and recognise nationally and internationally acclaimed sportspersons.

Properly implementing sports reservations for Group-IV to Group-I is needed to encourage future generations, he added.

Taking a stance in support of aspirants, Krishna District Aquatic Association treasurer P Balamurali Krishna alleged that the SAAP officials have stopped the cash rewards and financial assistance to athletes and sport associations without explanation.

He pointed out the lack of accountability within the SAAP office and criticised the previous government’s failure to announce a new sports policy. Krishna urged the State government led by N Chandrababu Naidu to introduce a new sports policy and implement all kinds of reservations for the benefit of unemployed youth.

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