Sports Ministry invites comments on its Bill

New Delhi, Feb 22 (PTI) For making sports administrationcleaner in the country, the Sports Ministry today invitedcomments and suggestions on a proposed National Sports Billthat would require sports federations to have a "fair andtransparent" election process and limited age and tenure fortheir office bearers.

The draft of the bill, that has been posted on theMinistry''s website, proposes to make amendments on anumber of issues concerning country''s athletes and the publicin general for the overall development of sports at thenational level and to deal with all matters connected withsports administration.

The draft remains true to the the core principlesenunciated in the ''Basic Universal Principles of GoodGovernance'' proposed by the International OlympicCommittee and endorsed by the Olympic Congress.

Apart from making provisions in the bill for dealing withmajor concerns such as detection and prevention of age fraudand sexual harassment in sport, and to have a "fair andtransparent" election process in Sport Federations, there areother concerns that are also being addressed.

It includes, amongst other points, sports for development-- promotion of indigenous sports, promotion of sportingexcellence, the organisation of sporting events, the promotionof athletes'' welfare, the promotion of drug-free sport and thefight against all forms of corruption in sports.

It also talks of Government of India, as a signatory tothe UNESCO convention against doping in sport, must be obligedto take effective administrative or legislative measures toeradicate doping in sport.

There are other provisions in the bill to deal with casesof sexual harrassment of women and child abuse in sports aswell "following the guidelines enunciated by the Hon''bleSupreme Court in the Vishakha judgement."

The Bill also proposed to have an effective and speedyresolution of sport-related disputes, including redressal ofathletes'' grievances, through conciliation and mediationprocess by appointing a National Sports Ombudsman".

The draft bill also proposes measures to promote sportsfor all -- particularly participation of youth, women, thedisabled and minorities -- in athletic activities.

It has also seperately drafted the roles andresponsibilities for the Government, the NationalSports Federations (NSFs) and the Sports Authority of India(SAI).

There is categorisation of the NSFs and the proceduresfor the suspension/withdrawl of recognition is also specifiedin the draft for further suggestions.

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