Politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen who have been occupying the top posts in various National Sports Federations (NSF) for more than a decade will have to step down after their current term expires, the Sports Ministry said on Sunday.
The Ministry has modified a 1975 regulation that suggests Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi and several NSF chiefs including V K Malhotra (archery), Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa (cycling), VK Verma (badminton), captain Satish K Sharma (aero club) and BS Adityan (volleyball) cannot seek a re-election after their present term expires.
The Ministry said it has decided to restore the modified tenure clause, which was kept in abeyance by former Sports Minister Uma Bharti in 2001, to encourage "professional management, good governance, transparency, accountability, democratic elections, etc. in NSFs, including IOA."
The original 1975 regulation introduced by the Indira Gandhi government had capped the tenure of the President, the Secretary and the Treasurer at not more than two consecutive terms of four years each.
The modified clause caps the tenure of the president of an NSF, including IOA, to 12 years "with or without break". For the Secretary and the Treasurer, it shall not be more than two successive tenures of four years each.
"The Secretary and the Treasurer shall be eligible for standing for re-election to the post after a minimum interval of four years," the Ministry said.
"Further, there will be a retirement age of 70 years for all members and office bearers," it added.
Most of the NSFs have politicians at the top, while bureaucrats and businessmen too have been found clinging onto the top posts for long.
Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi has been the IOA President from 1996, while BJP leader VK Malhotra is heading the Archery Association of India for more than three decades.
Akali Dal leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa's reign as the Cycling Federation of India is into its 14th year while VK Verma, a bureaucrat, is ruling Badminton Association of India for 12 years.
Congress leader Captain Satish K Sharma heads the Aero Club for 24 years, while B S Adityan, a businessman, has been at the helm of the Volleyball Federation of India for 12 years.
Others who have been ruling NSFs for nearly a decade include Digvijay Singh (shooting), Ajay Singh Chautala (table tennis), Yashwant Sinha (tennis), Abhay Singh Chautala (boxing), Ashoke Ghosh (kho kho), KP Singh Deo (rowing) and KN Kapur (swimming).