Minister diktat rocks sports academy

Promoters get cracking after being told to induct 1,400 cadets by next session

By A.S.R.P. Mukesh in Ranchi
  • Published 1.11.17
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CADET CALL: Mega sports complex in Hotwar, Ranchi, which hosts the academies

Ranchi: A sudden directive from the Centre has upset plans of Jharkhand State Sports Promotion Society (JSSPS), which will now have to induct 1,400 cadets in its academies for the 2018-19 session against initial plans of reaching that count by 2022.

JSSPS, a joint venture between the state government and Central Coalfields (CCL), is mandated to set up around 15 game-specific academies and a sports university at the mega sports complex at Hotwar on the outskirts of Ranchi. Over the last two years, it has managed to launch five academies, namely athletics, archery, taekwondo, football and wrestling.

As of now, JSSPS has 188 cadets on its rolls. Over the last few months, JSSPS officials have been holding "khel mahakhumb" at districts with the aim of choosing 222 more boys and girls.

But, JSSPS seems to have been pushed back to the drawing board. For, on Monday, Union coal minister Piyush Goyal, who was in Ranchi for the inauguration of the Jharkhand Mining Show announced that on the request of chief minister Raghubar Das, he had asked CCL chairman Gopal Singh to induct 1,400 cadets from the next session.

The question is whether JSSPS can manage to recruit 1,400 cadets in one go with five months left for the next session to begin.

CEO of JSSPS Alok Kumar tried to sound confident. "We have begun brainstorming to chalk out plans. It's a big challenge but we can manage before April next year," he told The Telegraph over phone on Monday.

JSSPS senior administrative officer Vikrant Malhan explained the roadmap. "Of the total 1,400, we have to induct half from Jharkhand and the remaining from the rest of India. The latter is a challenge," he said, adding that in the ongoing selection drive in 24 districts of the state, they had already covered seven districts.

"The database has been updated on our website. In the next two-three months, we hold selection trials in the remaining districts. Against our original target of 222, we will now choose 522," Malhan said.

JSSPS, he added, would also approach the Centre to hand over some of the players it had already chosen for Khelo India scholarships of Rs 5 lakh each.

But what about accommodation of the new cadets, given that the JSSPS hostel would take another two years to come up?

"We are working on alternatives. Our existing hotel can accommodate around 400. This apart, at the mega sports complex athletic stadium, we have 32 dormitories each with a capacity of 25. There are more than 190 government apartments at Khelgaon. So infrastructure is available, but we have to use it judiciously," Malhan explained.

As for mentors, he said JSSPS would give ads for recruiting coaches and assistant coaches for the new academies.