NEW DELHI: The central government has changed the service rules for its employees holding elective posts in the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and National Sports Federations (NSFs).
From the original stipulated tenure of either four years or one full-term to further relaxing it to a consolidated period of two terms or a maximum of four years in office – whichever is earlier in both cases – in August 2019, the government has again revised the service rules by fixing an upper limit of “two terms or for a period of five years” for government servants who can hold elective posts in the sports bodies.
According to the government, the change in service rules has been done to avoid instances “where government servants continue to hold elective offices in various capacities for unduly long periods and, in some cases, are reported to have either got themselves re-elected after a gap or have got a family member/close relative elected as a surrogate in order to keep control of such bodies, leading to an apprehension that such government servants also develop vested interests, particularly if the body was involved in commercial activities, directly or indirectly”.
The introduction of this new rule limiting the tenure to two terms or a maximum of five years has resulted in some amount of resentment among the IOA and NSF office-bearers. They believe that the rule change has created “confusion” and will put unnecessary burden on the federations to hold elections midway for such vacant posts.
According to NSF officials, the earlier rule of one-term or four years allowed them to elect government servants to their various posts for a single full-term (IOA and NSF elections are held every four years) before they returned back to their parent organisation.
But the new rule would make things complex for the sports bodies, with the additional period of one year (4+1) resulting in holding the election process for that post again and forcing a revamp of the executive council (EC).
Apart from IOA, a majority of federations currently have government servants serving in key positions like presidents and vice-presidents as elected office-bearers. The rule applies to government servants belonging to the central government and employees of PSUs and autonomous bodies of union/state governments.