Amid growing voices of disgruntlement from players and federations following the announcement of the 15 names for this year’s Arjuna awards, the sports ministry has decided to reconsider adding a few more to the list. The ministry has once again called a meeting of the committee led by Kapil Dev on Tuesday and one of the names likely to be added is that of boxer Manoj Kumar’s. The panel had earlier ignored Manoj and recommended boxer Jai Bhagwan for the award.
Manoj, who won gold in the 64kg category at the Delhi Commonwealth Games, has the maximum points — as per the ministry’s points system for the award — among the boxers who applied for the Arjuna this year.
“On behalf of Manoj, his brother and coach made a presentation to the sports minister pointing out that Manoj has been ignored despite his performance. Taking a note of it, the ministry’s senior officials held a meeting on Wednesday and decided to reconsider his case,” a source at the sports ministry told HT.
Other than Manoj there were a few more cases which came up for reconsideration and so a meeting has been called on Tuesday. “We will go through the papers again, and if we find that Manoj is topping the points table and his case has been ignored because of some error on our part, then we will consider his name for the Arjuna award. And in that case he will be the 16th winner for 2013-14,” the source said adding there will be no changes made to the already announced names.
It was learnt that boxer Paramjeet Samhota’s name was not considered as he submitted the form after the deadline was over. Manoj has 32 points, Jai Bhagwan who has been recommended has 30 points and Shiva Thapa 15. If Samohta’s form was entertained he would have got 45 points by virtue of winning gold at the Delhi CWG and bronze at the Asian Games. “During the meeting there was some debate over Manoj and even a reference of doping was made. So Jai Bhagwan was recommended,” said a SAI official, who was present at the meeting.
POINT NOT MADE
Geetu Ann Jose (basketball), Anirban Lahiri (golf) and Tom Joseph (volleyball) got zero points as per the ministry’s new points system as they didn’t have any medal in the Asian and Commonwealth Games, or in the Asian, Commonwealth or World championships or in a world cup in the last four years (2010 to 2013). There is only 10 percent weightage to the marks awarded by the selection committee. And so, if recommendations are limited only to the points system then none of them would have got the award.