Sports Policy plays the Yeti

Morung Express News
Dimapur | March 7

A section of the pledges announced following the maiden seating of the PDA Cabinet on March 8, 2018 contained a section on ‘Sports & Youth Affairs’, which stated, “The Cabinet decided that a new Nagaland State Sports Policy will be announced within 100 days.”

365 days later, the pledged sports policy remains elusive. Any references to the proposed policy over the months since the seemingly motivated announcement have been confined to the Chief Minister making occasional and fleeting remarks. 

The last was in February during the recent Assembly Budget session wherein the CM in his Budget speech made an obscure reference to it by stating, “A comprehensive sports policy with set timelines and podium finishes is being formulated.”

The Governor in the customary opening address to the Assembly stated it was being “finalised.” 

In June 2018, in the lead up to the completion of the 100-day deadline, the Advisor to Youth Resources & Sports (YR&S), Zale Neikha told The Morung Express that it was “almost done and it won’t take a month before it gets announced.”

At the time, the then Secretary, YR&S informed that the policy was drafted and awaiting evaluation by a Review Committee set up for the purpose. Once reviewed, it was set to be forwarded to the Finance and Personnel & Administrative Reforms departments and finally to the Cabinet. 

Two drafts were prepared by a Drafting Committee comprising the Nagaland Olympic Association, other state sports associations and YR&S Department. 

While the YR&S Advisor and AHoD remained evasive to queries, as per the latest update, the final draft was in the CM’s Secretariat. 

A Department official told The Morung Express, “As a department staff, I cannot say when it will be officially announced. It is presently in the CM’s Office.” The official said that the CM wants it reviewed “thoroughly” before the final draft reaches the Cabinet. “I think the CM wants it published in the public domain for open review (for suggestions, omissions) before it gets Cabinet sanction.” 

It was added that there was no word on the prospect of establishing a Sports University, Police Sports Battalion, Sports Scholarship and a Regional Sports Academy named after Dr. T. Ao.