The Sports Ministry on Monday granted recognition to 54 national federations till September this year, continuing to leave out the governing bodies of archery, golf and gymnastics while dropping paralympics and rowing from the list.
The ministry granted fresh recognition to the All India Carrom Federation. The Paralympic Committee of India (PCI), Rowing Federation of India (RFI) and School Games Federation of India (SGFI) were the ones denied fresh recognition. While the PCI and RFI were suspended for violating the National Sports Code, the Sushil Kumar-led SGFI was de-recognised for mismanagement.
The ministry continued to deny recognition to the Archery Association of India (AAI), the Indian Golf Union (IGU), the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) and the Taekwondo Federation of India. Even though a new dispensation under Union minister Arjun Munda took over the reigns of AAI earlier this year but the ministry recognition could not be obtained as it failed to change its Constitution because of the coronavirus-forced national lockdown.
It may be noted that AAI was banned by World Archery in August last year for defying its guidelines by electing two parallel bodies. The suspension was lifted conditionally in January this year, a week after it went to polls where Munda was elected as the president.
The national golf federation also continues to be de-recognised by the ministry for failing to conduct its Annual General Meeting and hold elections as per the National Sports Code, 2011. Surprisingly, the GFI too did not find favour with the ministry despite holding its election in November last year, where former Competition Commission of India chairman Sudhir Mittal and Shaktikumar Singh were elected president and secretary general respectively. The GFI was de-recognised by the ministry in 2012.
The TFI, meanwhile, remained de-recognised for factionalism and mismanagement. While recognition to NSFs is usually annual, this time the ministry has decided to offer it only till September this year, prompting questions from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra. "Why September 2020 and why not till December 2020," Batra questioned.
Sports Ministry officials did not immediately respond to calls for an explanation on the matter. Ministry's recognition is of great significance to small NSFs as they mostly depend on the government's yearly funding to manage their day-to-day expenses.