NEW DELHI: From a double increase in coaches’ salaries to a substantial increase in financial subsidies to host international tournaments, the union sports ministry has made a series of changes to revamp the functioning of national sports federations (NSFs) and enhance the performance of Indian sportsmen on the world stage.
The ministry has also authorized technical officers/delegates to accompany Indian teams to multi-sport events as part of the country’s official contingent.
Effective March 1, the ministry revised the standards for the “aid scheme” to sports federations, giving them more power to make them self-sufficient. Notable changes include the multiple increase in remuneration for “Head/National Coaches” from Rs 1.5 lakh per month to Rs 3 lakh pm and that of “Assistant Coaches” from Rs 75,000 to Rs 2 lakh pm.
It was also decided that “in case a trainer employed in PSU, Railways or other organizations (public/private) is attached to a national camp, then he can be treated as a national duty and an amount of Rs. 50,000 pm will be granted, as the trainer’s attachment causes trouble to the family though the salary is protected”.
Similarly, for support staff such as doctors, physiotherapists, nutritionists and masseurs, the current salary structure has increased two or three times. From now on, a sports doctor will get Rs 2 lakh pm (previously Rs 1 lakh), a head physiotherapist Rs 2 lakh (previously Rs 80,000), a head strength and conditioning trainer Rs 2 lakh, a nutritionist Rs 1 lakh (previously Rs 60,000) and head masseur Rs 1 lakh (previously Rs 40,000).
The ministry also ended the practice of hiring foreign coaches as an “employer” by offering them salaries. Instead, he ordered NSF to appoint foreign experts themselves as part of the ACTC (Annual Competition and Training Calendar) budget allocation, which will be capped at 30% of the overall approved budget of the NSF. The involvement of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) will only be limited to the evaluation of the coach’s performance through an annual review of his “Key Result Areas” (KRA) for the purpose of extension or allocation of bonuses “up to a maximum limit of 20% of the annual salary received by the coach”.
The NSFs were asked to follow the principles of “Atmanirbharta” in the field of coaching and as such, at least five Indian coaches would remain attached to the foreign expert during his tenure to prepare local coaches and reduce the reliance on foreigners in Indian sports.
The ministry has also increased financial assistance to host international tournaments and national championships. For World Championship, World Cup, Asian Championship and other major competitions, an NSF will get up to Rs 1 crore for hosting such events comprising at least 12 countries and 120 athletes.
Previously, the amount was Rs 30 lakh. For the national championships, the revised financial subsidy was Rs 51 lakh (Rs 17 lakh each for senior, junior and sub-junior categories). Previously, it was Rs 22 lakh (Rs 5 lakh for senior, Rs 7 lakh for junior and Rs 10 lakh for sub-junior).
In another major decision, the ministry included “traditional Indian sports” in the high priority and prioritized disciplines including malkhamb, yogasanakalaripayattu and atyapatya, among others, to host international and national meetings.