With the Junior Shooting contingent performing exceptionally well at the ongoing World Championships in Changwon, news back home does not spell anything good for the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI). In a surprising move, SAI has decided against renewing the contract for six Indian coaches. In addition to this, three veteran coaches of India have been hired on a pro-rata basis instead of on a fully salaried position.
The announcement has drawn strong words from the NRAI Chief Raninder Singh who, in a letter to SAI and the Sports Ministry has termed the recent events as “insensitive” and an “affront to our sport and human intellect” as reported by the Times of India. The three coaches who have been taken on board on a pro rata basis include experienced Indian shooters Samresh Jung and Mansher Singh.
Raninder Singh also termed this move as a setback to the Olympic movement especially because it comes at a time when Indian shooters are vying for Olympic quota places in the ongoing ISSF World Championships.
The coaches who are being dropped as per the SAI circular are Amarjang Singh, Ved Prakash, Shreyan Kapoor, Jitender Beniwal, N Krishna and Vishwadev Singh Sidhu. Three out of them have already travelled to Changwon for the ongoing Worlds. All the six mentioned names had been cleared to go to Changwon on Government expenses. The announcement of the removal of coaches comes after, according to NRAI, they had received assurance from SAI that none of them would be removed.
But this is just a part of the problem that the NRAI has with the current mandate. The decision to appoint veteran shooters on a pro rata basis instead of a salaried position has not gone down well with the shooting administrative body. According to the same report in TOI, NRAI is of the opinion that the reasoning behind this decision is that Mansher Singh already draws a salary at the Madhya Pradesh Shooting Academy, also on a pro rata basis. But if that were the case, Chief pistol coach Jaspal Rana would also be covered under it.
India has currently won 20 medals at the ongoing World Championships and is second on the medal table.