Due to Sports Council ‘politics’ meritorious athletes feel let down, await jobs

By: Vikas Sharma

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Meritorious sportspersons of the state are irked as they have neither been given cash prizes nor provided jobs.

Sportspersons of the state, who have excelled at the national and international level, are yet to be appointed by the J&K State Sports Council under SRO-349.

Under the Appointment of Outstanding Sportspersons Rules, 1998, 25 non-gazetted cadre posts are reserved per calendar year for appointing outstanding players who represent the country in international competitions or earn a medal in senior national-level championships.

The government is providing jobs annually under said SRO-349 since 1992 against the direct recruitment quota on the calendar year basis.

Sources said not even a single sportsperson had been appointed by the autonomous sports body between 2014 and 2018 due to the dispute between the sports council and players over the awarding of points. They said a few sportspersons had challenged the points system in the court in 2018.

The sources said after the appointment of 25 outstanding sportspersons in 2013, the sports council had not issued an advertisement regarding appointment of players in 2014 and 2015.

“In 2016, the autonomous sports body issued an advertisement and also asked the meritorious players of 2014 and 2015 to apply. But in 2017, a controversial points system was introduced by the sports council on the basis of which it would provide jobs to the players,” said a player, who has played at the international level.

“Without consultation with any technical/sports expert, the sports council introduced the points system. Under this, if a player wins a gold, silver or bronze medal in the Olympic Games, he gets 45, 43 and 41 points, respectively,” said another meritorious player on the condition of anonymity.

“Knowing that not many players of J&K are able to compete in the Olympics, the sports council gives equal weightage to the players who clinch the gold, silver and bronze medals in the National Games with the sole intention to adjust the blue-eyed candidates,” he said.

“There is no comparison between the world’s biggest sporting extravaganza and the National Games,” he further said.

The sources said the future of nearly 200 outstanding sportspersons was hanging in the balance as they had been awaiting jobs for the past five years.

Secretary, J&K State Sports Council, Naseem Javed Choudhary said: “Yes, the appointments under the sports quota have not been made due to cases pending in the court.”

He said the sports policy draft had been submitted to the government.

Reproduced From Tribune