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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

‘Ministry should set eligibility criteria for Dronacharya’

A prominent applicant like Jaspal Rana, a former star shooter and currently the junior national coach, who is credited for the success of junior shooters at the world stage, was overlooked raising a controversy.

other-sports Updated: Aug 19, 2019 11:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Jaspal Rana, a former star shooter and currently the junior national coach, was overlooked
Jaspal Rana, a former star shooter and currently the junior national coach, was overlooked(Getty Images for DAGOC)
         

The 12-member selection panel for National Sports Awards has recommended the government to draw a criteria for the Dronacharya Award—given to the country’s outstanding coaches—that should also recognise their contribution at the grassroots and not just at the international stage as has been the trend.

The committee, headed by Supreme Court judge Justice (Retd) Mukundakam Sharma, recommended Vimal Kumar (badminton), Sandeep Gupta (table tennis), Mohinder Singh Dhillon (athletics) for Dronacharya Award in the regular category. In the Dronacharya lifetime category, Marzban Patel (hockey), Rambir Singh Khokar (kabaddi) and Sanjay Bhardwaj (cricket) were chosen.

A prominent applicant like Jaspal Rana, a former star shooter and currently the junior national coach, who is credited for the success of junior shooters at the world stage, was overlooked raising a controversy.

A committee member said there were intense deliberations on the Dronacharya Award before the names were finalised because there were many applications and some of them were ‘ridiculous’ including that of a 29-year-old coach.

“You can’t just have anyone being recommended and applying for a prestigious award like the Dronacharya. There has to be some eligibility criteria drawn and it should include an age bar,” said a member of the panel who did not wish to be named.

“Taking a holistic view, the committee felt that being a national coach for a couple of years and the accomplishments of the athletes should not be the only criteria for the Dronacharya. The Dronacharya is meant for dedicated guides. The coaches, who are working tirelessly for years at districts/states/ and national level and contributing, should be chosen. The federation should also be careful while shortlisting candidates,” he said.

He said all the three Dronacharya award winners are deserving because they have nurtured raw talent and made them world beaters.

“There is a line of thinking that Vimal Kumar was chosen because he was Saina Nehwal’s coach when she became world No 1 and won a silver medal at the World Championships. But Kumar has been contributing since the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy came up in 90s and he has shaped several careers,” he said.

“Similarly in the lifetime category the ones who have been chosen are those who have spent their entire life in passionately coaching and grooming athletes for the country and Mezban Patel is the best example of such a dedicated effort.”

The Ministry is understood to have shown interest in the suggestions from the committee.

First Published: Aug 19, 2019 10:52 IST