BENGALURU: INDIA’s poor performance in Rio Olympics has disappointed Karnataka’s new minister for Sports, Youth Services and Fisheries Pramod Madhwaraj. He is keen on coming up with a new Sports Policy as part of his plans to see Karnataka emerge as a sporting powerhouse.
Giving grace marks in exams for students with bright sports talent in schools and colleges, incorporating sports quota in government jobs are some of the proposals the minister is keen to incorporate in the proposed sports policy, which would be unveiled in October.
“Sports activities are generally being seen as detrimental to academic interests. So, we have to give some preference or grace marks for students who excel in sports to safeguard their interests. Students and kids should be encouraged to take up Sports as a career. Sporting career is very short and those who excel in sports should not have any worries about their future. They should get preference in employment too,” he said.
The minister is set to hold open house discussions with sportspersons in various districts to seek their suggestions to formulate the sports policy. “I will also discuss the proposals with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to demand higher grants for sports, improve sports infrastructure and incorporate a quota for sportspersons in government jobs. Similar discussions would also be held with other ministers too as some of the initiates proposed come under the domain of the Education department,” he said.
Citing funds crunch as one of the main hurdles for development of sports, Madhwaraj pointed out that though 1 per cent of the allocation for Urban Local Bodies and 2 per cent of allocation for Gram Panchayats were meant to be spent for Sports related activities, the order is not being complied with since 2002. The Sports ministry would try to get this huge pending amount to implement its plans to improve sports infrastructure.
Strict instructions would be issued to collect user-fee for using government stadiums all over the district. Use of stadiums for non-sporting activities would be curbed.
Kirmani to head selection committee
Sports minister Pramod Madhwaraj has decided to keep politicians and officials away from selection of sportspersons for various awards. The minister has also recused himself from the post of chairperson of all these committees and issued orders to ensure that such selection committees comprise of only sportspersons. Former International Cricket player Syed Kirmani has been named as the chairperson of Ekalavya Award Selection Committee and The Life Time Achievement Award Selection Committee. Former international athlete Loknath Bolar has been named the chairperson of Karnataka Kreeda Ratna award selection committee.