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We’re not game

If the Commonwealth Games aren’t on schedule or in line with global standards, India may be barred for the next 100 years. Gopal Jain examines.

india Updated: Mar 02, 2009 21:32 IST
Gopal Jain

India has made a global mark in the outsourcing business, but by the look of things, particularly the report of a Standing Committee of Parliament, it may have to turn the clock back and get into ‘reverse outsourcing’. Given the pace of preparations for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, India’s best option is to outsource the event to a country better suited and equipped for hosting the games!

In case it is unable to fulfil its commitments and obligations, and the Games are not held on time or in line with global expectations and high standards, India would be disqualified for 100 years from holding the Games and the guarantee given by the government would be in jeopardy, besides the tremendous national shame and loss of pride.

Despite these known consequences there have been lethargy and delays. Why is it that we do not have a workable plan to execute projects in a timely fashion, with multiple agencies being involved in the same activity? Do we need ‘a one stop shop’ agency to organise the Games? Do we need to outsource crucial functions, transferring them from political hands into the hands of professional managers with proven experience? We need to prioritise nationally a complete overhaul of the existing system.

We have shining examples of the successful implementation of mega sports events and large public projects in India. Delhi Metro’s E Sreedharan and sports administrators like I.S. Bindra, have put India on the global map. More recently, the success of the Indian Premier League has shown that it can be done. Professional managers have turned sick public sector undertakings, sold through competitive bidding, into profit-making companies. Thus, we do have both skills and resources but what we lack is a nodal agency sans politicians, who are always vying to take credit without being accountable.

We are already behind schedule on almost all fronts and unless remedial measures are taken, we could even lag behind in the race for medals. The government must set up a single unified command and put those who have successfully implemented large projects at the helm. Only then will we be able to say ‘Yes we can.’ We cannot lose another 100 years.

Gopal Jain is an advocate in the Supreme Court