India's Olympic Task Force makes strong recommendations
The Olympic Task Force, a body formed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016, submitted its final report which includes some strong recommendations to uplift India's performance in the upcoming Olympic events. One of the major recommendations was regarding re-structuring of Sports Authority of India, which was set up in 1984. Let us have a look at the suggestions of this committee.
Members of the Olympic Task Force
The eight members included three sports persons- Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand and former hockey captain Viren Rasquinha, along with a hockey coach, a physiology academician, a journalist and two sports administrators.
Replace bureaucrats in SAI with professionals
In the 144-page report, the committee has suggested replacing the government officials in the Sports Authority of India with professionals and specialists. It also stated that the authority should be given financial autonomy and be allowed to raise its own resources to run various programs. In the past, SAI has faced severe criticism from the athletes due to poor facilities provided to them.
Overlook preparation of elite athletes
The committee suggested that SAI should look after only the preparation of elite athletes. The report stated that SAI should only run academies of excellence- mainly for 17+ players who are at the train-to-compete and train-to-win stage.
Make hosting of national games mandatory
In other suggestions, the committee stated that hosting of national games every two years should be made mandatory and every state should pick up one sport and excel at it at Olympic level. To give more importance to coaches, the report stated that the salary cap on coaches should be removed and they should be paid at par with the vice-chancellor of a university.
Committee aims for 20 medals in 2028
With an aim to win 20 medals at the 2028 Olympics, the committee reported that the nation should develop a culture of sports. The report suggested adoption of a three fold strategy- athletic centric, coach led and system driven. The committee also highlighted that women should be encouraged to take up a role of an athlete, a coach or an administrator.
Preparations for 2020
Keeping the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in mind, the committee said that the experts and the consultants from over the world should be hired to oversee the preparations for the 2020 Olympics and for guidance and training.