New Delhi: Deserving athletes and former athletes no longer have to run after national federations and government agencies to get their rewards and dues when the Ministry of Sports has made the processes online.
Sports Minister Anurag Thakur launched three major initiatives from his ministry on Friday: an online portal for schemes from the Ministry of Sports, the website of the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) and a revised scheme for cash prizes, national welfare and pensions for athletes.
While active athletes seeking government recognition and rewards can now apply online at the Department of Sports portal, corporations, PSUs and individuals can contribute to the NSDF fund on the newly built website.
Thakur called the initiatives “revolutionary” and said they will help bring transparency and accountability, in addition to helping the government’s digital India mission.
“We will continue to provide facilities for our athletes, but if we can integrate technology with these facilities, it could be very beneficial.
“If an athlete had to seek rewards and recognition from the government after a good performance, they had to go through the federation or SAI before then it was checked and it took almost a year or two for these athletes to get their dues,” he said during the launch.
“We have made this system simpler and more transparent. In simple terms, we have used technology to bring more transparency and accountability into the system and it will further help the athletes to apply online and they will get their dues in a limited time.
“We have also made pension scheme or Deen Dayal Upadhyay National Welfare Scheme for Sportspersons online so that athletes’ time is not wasted on this. The role of SAI and NSFs has been rendered non-existent, as it were.” said Thakur.
“It is a revolutionary step by the Ministry of Sports.”
The minister reiterated that procedures have been relaxed for the athletes so that they can enjoy the benefits of social security schemes without delay.
“Pensions for deserving athletes used to take time and many did not receive the benefit. That is why we have provided athletes with an easy-to-use transparent system.
“It is user-friendly, technology-driven and because of this we can also meet the minimum government maximum government thought.
“We will try to continuously upgrade this system so that life becomes easy and people can get the benefits. It is easy to apply, takes less time and the money is transferred directly to bank accounts via DBT.”
Thakur also appealed to the compatriots, private entities and PSUs to contribute to the NSDF for the development of Indian sports.
“NSDF is a major initiative in creating funds for TOPS, other benefits for athletes and developing infrastructure. PSUs, companies from time to time helped us set up this fund.
“Individuals can also contribute if they want to. My appeal to all compatriots, business, PSUs and all other institutions to go online and contribute, which will help us move sport forward,” he said.
“Adopt a player, adopt a game, adopt a hostel, adopt a field… You can choose and come forward to adopt any player, any sport, any hostel, any sports infrastructure, we are ready to work with you and it will be technology-driven and transparent.”
When asked whether the process of National Sports Awards given on National Sports Day can be made online, the minister said: “I take it as a good suggestion. We will take note of this.”
All contributions to NSDF are exempt from income tax.
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