Sports ministry sets up empowered steering committee for Olympics

NEW DELHI: An empowered steering committee (ESC) has been set up by the Union Sports Ministry, based on the recommendations of the interim report of the Olympic Task Force.

The eight-member task force was set up in September 2016 to prepare a comprehensive action plan for effective participation of Indian sportspersons in the next three Olympic Games to be held in 2020 (Tokyo), 2024 (Paris) and 2028 (Los Angeles).

The Task Force, comprising stalwarts including Abhinav Bindra, Pullela Gopichand and Viren Rasquinha, submitted its report to the Sports Ministry last month.

The core task of the ESC, that will have a tenure up to December 31, 2020, will be to assist the government in identifying and addressing issues related to the development of disciplines likely to fetch medals for the country at major sporting events. It will also review the core probable list of each high priority disciplines for Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Olympic Games and draw up an annual calendar for government approved training and competitions, in consultation with the National Sports Federation (NSF) concerned.

The ESC has been mandated to recommend specific plans or packages for TOPS (Target Olympic Podium Scheme) beneficiaries selected by the TOPS committee. 

The ESC will comprise a chairman appointed by the government, a representative from the Indian Olympic Association, three retired athletes from high-priority sports, an elite coach from among the existing chief coaches or High Performance Directors. It will also include three sports scientists in the panel, and two representatives from the Development of Sports and Sports Authority of India respectively.