Demands in RS to Confer Bharat Ratna to Dhyanchand

New Delhi
Demands in RS to Confer Bharat Ratna to Dhyanchand

Amid demands from members in Rajya Sabha for conferring Bharat Ratna to Indian hockey icon Major Dhyanchand, Government today said it was in agreement with the sentiments that indigenous games of the country should be given importance.

Dilip Tirkey (BJD), former Indian hockey player, raised the issue of discrimination against Indian sports like kabaddi and hockey and reminded that Indian hockey icon Dhyanchand has not been given the Bharat Ratna.

Responding to his supplementary during Question Hour, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiu lauded Tirkey for his contribution to hockey and said he was in agreement with the sentiments expressed for giving priority to indigenous games of the country. He also praised Tirkey for bringing laurels to the country.

Amid slogans from some members for giving Bharat Ratna to Dhyanchand, Rijiju said cricket player Sachin Tendulkar had become the first sportsperson to get a Bharat Ratna during the previous government.

"This decision was not taken during the term of our government," he said.

Rijiju said that kabaddi players have been given Khel Ratna and Arjuna awards.

A member had earlier asked why Indian kabaddi players were not given Rajiv Khel Ratna award even as they have won major tournaments.

Rijiju was also asked whether the government has asked sports federations to submit their plans for organising national events and competing in tournaments abroad much in advance and actions taken against those federations which have not furnished such information.

Replying in affirmative, Rijiju said,"the government had issued instructions on January 1 this year asking various organisations including National Sports Federations (NSFs) to submit their proposals for seeking approval of the government for various sports events at least 90 days before the commencement of such events."

The minister said that such instructions were issued earlier and the reason for issuing such instructions is to ensure that the proposals are thoroughly scrutinized and decisions are communicated in time.

"As far as recognised NSFs are concerned, they are required to submit their plans for organising and competing in national/international events as part of Annual Calendar of Training and Competitions (ACTC) for the next financial year. Generally, they have been submitting their ACTCs in time," Rijiju said.

To a question regarding the action proposed to be taken by government against those federations which have not furnished the information, Rijiju said at this stage, there is no case of recognised NSFs not furnishing these plans. However, if any such case arises, the government may take appropriate action including issuing of warning or denial of clearances and funding.

He also said it was not the government which selects the team and there was an established procedure for team selection and the players for tournaments including 2016 Rio Olympics.

Rijiju said the government provides funds for such events through the National Sports Federation which in turn give funds to state federations.

To questions on monitoring of the funds given by the government to such federations, he said "there is a norm. Government from time to time asks for the report from National Sports Federation on how the fund is being used. CAG audit also happens from time to time. A system has been set up."

He said the government provides help to federations as it wants Indian players to win medals.

"Sports Federations make the preparations to enable players to prepare well for games. The government also makes arrangements. The government has made arrangments even for the coming Rio Olympic," he said.

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