India seeks to expand use of decentralized solar generation FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Times of India:Stepping up efforts to gradually increase solar footprints across the country, the Centre on Tuesday approved two schemes – one to promote use of solar power among farmers and the second to give impetus to its ongoing grid-connected rooftop solar programme. Both the schemes together will get the central financial support of over Rs 46,000 crore by 2022.The move on grid-connected rooftop will help India achieve its cumulative capacity of 40,000 MW of solar power from rooftop projects by 2022. It accounts for 40% of the country’s 2022 target of 100 GW of power from solar.The rooftop programme will be implemented with total financial support of Rs 11,814 crore. Under the scheme, group housing societies or resident welfare associations will be eligible to get financial support to install rooftop solar projects.The one for farmers – called KUSUM (Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthan Mahaabhiyan) – has three components which together aim to add a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022. The total central financial support provided under the scheme would be Rs 34,422 crore.Its components include 10,000 MW of ‘decentralized ground mounted’ grid-connected renewable power plants; installation of 17.50 lakh standalone solar powered agriculture pumps and solarisation of 10 lakh grid-connected solar powered agriculture pumps.Under KUSUM, an individual farmer or group of farmers (cooperatives or panchayats or farmer producer organisations) can set up solar power plants of 500 KW to 2 MW capacity on their barren or cultivable lands.More: India seeks to increase solar footprints in rural areas through KUSUM
Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, right, answers questions during a pregame news conference before Game 4 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday, April 27, 2014, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)LOS ANGELES (AP) – Los Angeles Clippers interim CEO Richard Parsons testified Tuesday that coach Doc Rivers told him he’ll quit if Donald Sterling remains the owner of the team.Parsons made the statement in a trial to determine whether Sterling’s wife Shelly Sterling can sell the team for $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.“Doc is troubled by this maybe moreso than anybody else,” Parsons said. “If Mr. Sterling continues as owner, he does not want to continue as coach.”The NBA has sought to force out Sterling since soon after racist statements emerged on recordings in April.Rivers, who is black, has said he had heard from other Clippers business employees that they didn’t think they would be able to work for Sterling under the circumstances.Sterling has denied he is a racist from the witness stand and vowed he’ll never sell the team, claiming he is the victim of illegally recorded conversations that invaded his privacy.Parsons took over leadership of the Clippers in May during the media blitz surrounding the banishment of Sterling, who seemed to accept the idea of a sale until he rescinded his agreement for his wife to make a deal. By then, she had the offer from Ballmer.
The British government originally supported proposals for 10 energy efficient and sustainably built housing communities – known in England as eco-towns. But local resistance trimmed the list of viable proposals to four.Still, green building advocates in the U.K. are celebrating, since any advance for low-carbon housing, especially affordable housing built on a relatively large scale, is considered a major victory. The four projects – planned for the counties of Cornwall, Hampshire, Norfolk, and Oxfordshire – would accommodate about 30,000 residents among them.If approved by local planning departments, the eco-towns will be constructed over the next five years to at least Level 4 of Britain’s Code for Sustainable Homes, which ranks sustainable construction features from Level 1, for minimal standards, to Level 6, for buildings that meet the highest standards.Two other sites, in Essex and Yorkshire, are still developing their proposals.The projects are expected to include community heat sources and be highly energy efficient, and meet high standards for recycling and water use. The new buildings also will be equipped with smart meters and renewable-energy features such as solar panels and small-scale wind turbines.Along with the eco-town plans, Housing Minister John Healy also announced that, beginning in 2016, all new homes built in Britain will have to meet a zero-carbon-emissions standard.
The massed combined services band spells out ‘IX ASIAD ’82’ during the emotional closing ceremonyFor sixteen drama-filled days, it had occupied centre-stage in the vast Asian continent, dominating headlines in 33 countries and overshadowing the election of a prime minister (in Japan) and the state visit of the French President,The massed combined services band spells out ‘IX ASIAD ’82’ during the emotional closing ceremonyFor sixteen drama-filled days, it had occupied centre-stage in the vast Asian continent, dominating headlines in 33 countries and overshadowing the election of a prime minister (in Japan) and the state visit of the French President (to India). And finally, it was over. When the giant flame atop Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the heart of New Delhi flickered out for the last time, it was meant to symbolise the final curtain on Asiad ’82.But it also symbolised something much more – the end, and even perhaps the beginning, of a glorious chapter in Asian sport. Never had the Asiad flame burned brighter and never had the gap between Asian performances and that of the best in the world been narrower.If Asiad ’82 was a triumph for Indian crisis-management, it was overshadowed by the dramatic performance of the participants. In just 14 days of competition, an incredible 74 Asian Games and Asian records were shattered.If the pixie-like Chinese gymnast Wu Jiani was the centre-piece in the first week of Asiad, by the end of the second she had been dislodged from her perch of prominence by at least 10 other participants whose individual performances blazed a meteoric trail across the tartan tracks and synthetic surfaces of the New Delhi Games.India’s gold-medal grappler Satpal Singh in action during his final boutBut the history books will fail to record the real triumph of Asiad ’82. For, in the end, the New Delhi Games were not just another inter-continental sporting meet but a spectacular celebration: except for one ugly incident during the football tournament, never had the spirit of sport manifested itself so powerfully.Unforgettable Spectacle: At the emotion-charged closing ceremony, the sight of 5,000 athletes linking arms regardless of country or political ideology and waving gaily to the 70,000 spectators will not be easily forgotten.advertisementNor will the impulsive gesture of the smartly-clad Japanese athletes, who broke away from the crowd on the track to toss their white panama hats into the crowd as if in acknowledgement of their unrecorded contribution to the success of the Games.Heavyweight pugilist Kaur Singh, India’s solitary gold medallist in the boxing tournament, weaves away from his opponent in the finalAnd, as the sun slowly set on Asiad ’82, there were moments that reached out and touched even the stoniest of spectators. At the closing ceremony, when the Asiad high started coming down, there were at least two occasions that epitomised Asiad theatre at its most poignant. One was when the floral Appu, the lovable mascot of the Games, made his last bow and disappeared into the bowels of the stadium for the last time and the scoreboard flickered an electronic farewell.An object of much derision when the Games started owing to the needless controversy about a live mascot, by the time Asiad ended Appu had come to symbolise all that is still elevating about an event like this.The other was when the massed services bands played the hauntingly beautiful hymn Abide With Me. There could not have been a more appropriate and emotional end to the astonishingly successful Games than that one perfectly-rendered melody that lingered on in the mist-laden air long after the last member of the audience had left.Posterity, however, will record only the performances but even those were inspiring enough. Ironically enough, the most-coveted victor’s laurel wreath went to the sportsman who was the most advanced in age, at least on the athletic field Shigenobu Morofushi, at 38, was old enough to be considered a veteran, but his incredible performance set almost impossible standards for the rest.Built like a Sumo wrestler, the balding Japanese sports instructor created Asiad history when he continued his amazing gold streak by winning the hammer throw – for the fourth Asiad in succession.He had won in Bangkok (1970), Teheran (1974) Bangkok (1978) and now New Delhi. In fact, Morofushi was participating in his fifth Asiad, having settled for a silver at the 966 Bangkok Games at the age of 22. He obliterated his own previous Asian Games record of 68.26 m with his third effort which saw the spherical “hammer” hit the dust at an incredible 71.14m. The throw fetched him not just the gold medal but the cup for the best sportsman of the Games, a distinction that could only have gone to him.Either he is a surprisingly modest man or his string of victories have made him blase about the whole thing. Immediately after his record-breaking performance, he closeted himself with his Rumanian wife, Serafina, in their Village room for a private celebration.But there were obviously other Morofushis waiting in the wings, notably the highly intelligent long distance runner Masanari Shintaku. The talented Japanese ran a brilliantly-plotted race in the 5,000 m to canter home in 13:53.7 for a new Asian Games record.advertisementAthletics, in fact, set the competitive tone of the Games which, predictably enough, boiled down to the traditional battle for supremacy between Japan and China.Though in overall performance and drive there was very little to choose between the two, China’s medal-hungry athletes created history by toppling Japan from the top of the medals table for the first time. For the spectators, at least, the Japanese and Chinese national anthems eventually became as well-known as the Indian, so often were they played.China’s high jump stars Zhou Jianhua who just missed the world recordJapan’s early lead, established with its splurge of swimming medals, was gradually whittled down until it became obvious that the deciding factor lay in the track and field events.The China-Japan battle and that of the two Koreas who dogged their heels diligently, provided additional flavour for what always is the glamour event of an international sporting meet. The result was some outstanding performances which had the surprisingly knowledgeable Indian crowd glued to their fibre glass seats.Out of 39 events where new records were possible, no less than 27 Asian Games records were shattered as compared to a mere 12 in the last Asiad at Bangkok. There were at least three world class athletes on display and many more who would be by the time the 1984 Olympics came around.Zhong Dazhen’s gold medal high jumpChina’s star high jumper Zhou Jianhua had the entire 60,000-strong audience holding their collective breath as he made his go-for-broke bid to break the world record. He failed by the proverbial whisker but his mark of 2.33 m made a mockery of the old Games record of 2.21 m, eclipsed his own Asian best of 2.30 m set last year and was tantalisingly close to the world mark of 2.36 m.Great Effort: The real star performance at the Games came from the Indian athletics contingent, which picked up a total of 21 medals to finish third after Japan and China in the track and field tally.M.D. Valsamma’s record-breaking 400 m hurdles effort and the equally outstanding performance by 800 m gold medallist Charles Borromeo earned, of course, the pride of place but another outstanding performance was long jumper Mercy Mathew who picked up a surprise silver in the event with a best ever jump of 6.2 m.Crowd go delirious after India score firstIn fact, Mathew’s best jump was 6.43 m which would have beaten the eventual gold medal winner Liao Wenfen of China’s record mark of 6.42 m but was called a foul jump. Mathew, in fact, inexplicably fouled four of her six jumps and was understandably dejected after her performance. “Never in my life have I fouled four jumps,” she wailed, “it was just not my day.”Another surprise medal in the jumps came from S. Balasubramaniam who ignored the awesome reputation of Zhou Zhenxian to come up with a remarkable triple jump of 16.14 m to pick up the bronze. The jump not only won him a medal, but it also set a new national mark. He has never crossed 16 m before but graciously attributed his performance to crowd support. “Their cheering really gave me the added distance,” he said modestly.advertisementThe biggest upset in the jumps, however, was that of Japan’s Hisayo Fukimitsu who had beaten world record holder Sara Simeoni of Italy and holds the Asian record of 1.93 m in the women’s high jump. This time, however, she looked sadly out of form and was beaten to the gold by China’s Zheng Dazhen who established a new Asian Games record by clearing 1.89 m.India’s Negi helplessly watches another goal being scoredAs far as India was concerned, the spirit-dampening and humiliating defeat at the hands of Pakistan in the hockey finals (page 97) was more than offset by the overall performance of the Indian contingent which wound up with the largest number of medals ever won by the country in the Asian Games – 57, more than double their 1978 Bangkok tally of 28.Their 13 gold medals was also the highest recorded since the 1951 Asiad in which only six countries participated. In fact, in total medals won, India finished the Games in fourth position behind China, Japan and South Korea, but with North Korea having won more golds, was officially listed as fifth.In fact, India would have fared even better were it not for the fact that the medal hopes in the wrestling and boxing events failed to bring home the expected bacon. Apart from Kaur Singh who retained his heavyweight crown and grappler Satpal Singh who won India’s solitary wrestling gold, the other boxers and wrestlers were clearly outclassed, as they were in the weightlifting competition where nine new Asian Games records were established and one equalled in a total of 10 events.Marathon gold medallist yang Kon Kim of South Korea collapses in the arms of his coach after the race and Iraq’s wonderboy Falleh Jaralla storms into the final lap for his record-breaking 1,500 m runSimilarly, India lost a certain medal in the men’s 4 400 m relay when the last two runners in the Indian team, Pavittar Singh and Premachandran fumbled with the baton and finally dropped it at a crucial moment when India were well in the lead.The women’s relay team almost met the same fate when a similar fumble by the last two runners lost the lead that Valsamma’s fantastic lap had given them and wound up with the silver. Clearly, Asiad ’82 belonged to the women, at least as far as India was concerned. The euphoria at the gold medal performance by the women’s hockey team continued at the athletic stadium where the women bettered no less than six national records and bagged nine medals. Valsamma’s glorious 400 m hurdles run for a new Asian record made her the pick of the bunch and she picked up another silver in the 400 m relay.An elated Iraqi team after winning the football final against facied KuwaitAnother double-medal winner was Geeta Zutshi. the painfully shy middle-distance runner from Haryana. Zutshi failed narrowly to pick up golds in the 800 m and the 1,500 m but she rewrote the national record books with timings of 2:5.77 and 4:19.33 respectively in what appears to be her last Asian Games. P.T. Usha, the scrawny-looking sprint queen also picked up two medals in the 100 m and 200 m, clocking a personal best of 24.28 sees in the latter during the heats.The honours clearly belonged to the two giants, China and Japan, and the two Koreas an overt indication of the priority and care given to the development of sport in those countries.Equally encouraging was the obvious improvement in standards among the Middle East countries. Their dominance in the football tournament was absolute with Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia taking the three top spots, but their performance in other arenas was a clear indication that they will no longer settle for being also-rans.Easily the most outstanding individual performance from among the Middle East contingents was the breathtaking run by Iraq’s colourful middle-distance runner Faleh Jaralla.The fumble that cost India the gold in the 4 x 400 m relay for womenJaralla’s failure in the quarter-mile had virtually put him out of the reckoning for the 1,500 m finals but he ran a dream race, staying in the background till the last round and then powering his way through the final lap in an astonishing 55.4 sees to smash the Asian Games record with a time of 3:43.49.But the loudest cheer was raised for the marathon man, Kim Yang Kon of South Korea, who barely managed to finish the gruelling race before collapsing into the arms of his coach.Other Stars: Tragically, because of the glamour of the track and field events, the real stars of the Games were virtually unnoticed. One was Gil Man So, the North Korean marksman who picked up the highest number of individual gold medals – four – in the shooting competition.But for a man who won the most medals, So was also the most taciturn. When asked about his future plans, he put it in a single word: “Olympics”.The giant scoreboard flickers out its last messageSwimming, as usual, produced its own superstars, as would be expected considering that no less than 25 Asian Games records were demolished. Japan predictably ruled the pool while China took the diving honours but the swimming show was stolen by the two Choi sisters of South Korea, Youn Hee and Youn Jon who between them won seven medals out of the 12 won by their country’s swimming contingent. Youn Hee, in fact, proved the only swimmer to win three individual golds, a remarkable performance by any standards.There were other images that, as usual, will outlive the perishable statistics. There was the glamour girl of the Games. Lydia de Vega of the Philippines, the 100 m gold medallist, being mobbed by autograph hunters by day and boogeying away in the Village discotheque by night; and the indestructible Han Jian, China’s badminton gold medallist displaying nerves of steel to destroy the fancied Indonesian Liem Swie King.Surprisingly, host country India picked up most glory outside the athletics stadium, and registered dramatic improvements in almost every competition. On the badminton courts, minus star player Prakash Padukone, the Indians picked up five bronze medals which signifies their best-ever performance in the Asian Games.The volleyball team’s fourth placing was again nothing to be sneezed at, while the most creditable improvement came in swimming where, though the Indians failed to pick up a medal, they had swimmers in almost every final where their performances saw them smashing national records by unbelievable margins.Sanjiv Chakravorty clipped 1.33 secs off the national record in the 100 m freestyle finals with a time of 55.77 secs, Bula Choudhury sliced Anita Sood’s 100 m butterfly record by 0.86 secs.Glamour girl Lydia de Vega: 100 m winnerT.J. Jacob reduced his own national record for the 400 m individual medley by 3.02 secs while in the women’s event, Persis Madan fared even better by chopping the national record by a creditable 5.48 secs. Similarly, in the 200 m breaststroke, Gita Anand chopped 6.59 secs off the national record.But the most outstanding performance was by 200 m butterfly champions Khazan Singh and Bula Choudhury who reduced the national records by 8.43 secs and 11.64 secs respectively.Brigadier D.N. Devine-Jones, secretary of the Indian Boxing Federation, points to an equally improved performance by the Indian boxing team. In 1974, India won three silvers and two bronzes while in 1978 the tally was just one silver and two bronzes, This time, the final count was one gold, two silvers and three bronzes.Mantu Debnath, coach of the Indian gymnastics team, was quite content with the fifth position secured by the men’s team in the competition after China, Japan and the two Koreas. since it represents the best Asiad performance to date. In weight-lifting, the absence of any significant medal contribution was no indication of the vast improvement in performances. In fact, Indian lifters have bettered national records an incredible 69 times in 1982, a tribute to the planned training programme they have been on in recent months.Asiad athletes relaxing in the village disotheque during the GamesThe Counterpoint to the encouraging overall improvement of Indian sporting standards was the question that loomed large in the aftermath of the Games – how long will the tempo continue? Obviously, India’s performance stems from the build-up to the Asiad over the last two years where no expense was spared to get the best equipment and the best coaches available. But in international terms, there is still a long way to go looking at the manner in which other Asian countries are nurturing sport within a well-planned long-term perspective.The Philippines has one of the most interesting sports programmes going called Gintong Alay (Offering of Gold) with the ultimate objective of producing world-class athletes. Baguio City, a hill-station some 250 km north of Manila, is the hub of the national sports training programme which was started in December 1979. The money for the programme comes from a foundation set up by President Ferdinand Marcos with the equivalent of Rs 2,000 crore.Talent scouts travel the country looking for promising athletes in their early teens. They are brought to Baguio City where there are adequate educational facilities so that schooling is not disrupted. Says Gintong Alay’s Chief Coach, Australian Anthony Benson: “Everything is provided free and a small allowance given to the athletes. It is important to have them throughout the year so that training is continuous to build up endurance. This is how Filipino athletes have bettered national performances 70 times since the project started (Lydia de Vega is a Gintong Alay find). We have blueprinted our training schedule towards one goal – the 1984 Olympics.”Japan’s Kaori Yanase after her record-breaking spurt in the 100 m free style finalMassive Drive: In South Korea, which will host the 1988 Olympics as well as the 1986 Asiad, an even more ambitious project is in the works.Says Jong Yul Kim, chef de mission of the South Korean contingent to the New Delhi Games: “The task of preparing for the Olympics has already started. Six million children underwent an initial screening for fitness of whom 100,000 were selected. After some more tests, 10,000 children aged around 12 or 13 years have been selected. Next month, a final screening will take place and 5,000 children will be picked and they will form the core of the Korean challenge in the 1988 Olympics.”Similarly, China’s current success stems from the solid foundations laid down through the years. Wu Zhongyuan, one of the four deputy leaders of the Chinese contingent, revealed that there are three aspects to China’s sports programme: “The first is the state commission for physical culture and sports which is a government body charged with the finance, planning and development of sports and infrastructure. The second is the all-China sports federation to which are affiliated the various associations. This is an autonomous body that looks after coaching of both athletes and coaches. The third body is the Chinese Olympic Committee which organises all the major meets.”Zhongyuan also says that China has 13 sports institutes and about 3,000 gymnasiums, stadia and running tracks. There are also schools of physical culture all over the country which train youngsters between the ages of 15 and 18 years.There is one school for each province and 90 per cent of China’s athletes come from these schools. He also attributes China’s success to the fact that sports exchanges with other countries and participation in international meets has increased tremendously in recent years. Which, of course, throws up the crucial questions: can the sudden interest in sports in India be sustained and will the Government and the newly-formed Sports Ministry keep their promises of giving Indian sport the long-awaited boost?The fantastic interest generated all over the country by Asiad ’82 and the fabulous stadia and equipment conjured up for the Games means that there has never been a more opportune moment than now for giving Indian sport a massive boost. On current form, the signs are hardly optimistic. Says Gursewak Singh, chef de mission of the Indian contingent for the Delhi Asiad and treasurer of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA): “If the Government is serious about proper usage of the facilities, a sports authority, similar to the Trade Fair Authority, will have to be created. The Sports Ministry does not have the experience to maintain the stadia. The federations have conducted the Games flawlessly and the authority, if it is created, must include people from them.”A dramatic moment in the wrestling competition at the Ambedkar StadiumGymnastics coach Debnath feels that it is unlikely that the progress made in the sport over the past few months will be maintained, unless a superhuman effort is made. “The cost is prohibitive,” he says. “Even Indian gymnastics sets, which are of poor quality, cost over Rs 50,000 and safety equipment is not available. Where can a learner practise? I think the Asian Games have done a lot for gymnastics in that people all over the country are suddenly aware of this sport. That is great but maximum benefit of this new awareness can only be got if new facilities are provided. Otherwise all will be lost.”Gautam Kaul, chief administrator of the Indraprastha Indoor Stadium, echoes Debnath’s views. “Indian gymnastics standards are on the rise,” he says, “but the main problem is the enormous lack of good coaches. There are states that have only one gymnastics coach and there are only about 50 for the whole country.”Doubts: At the most vital level, the actual participants, there is also a tangible air of distrust and apprehension of the future.Indu Puri, a member of the Indian table tennis team, says that the North Korean coach who trained the team for a year before the Asiad, helped them improve their technique a great deal but he will leave shortly and then they will be back to their old coaching system. Says she spiritedly: “In the leading sports nations, a player gets to the top as part of a larger programme. An Indian player is there only by virtue of his individual effort to get to the top. Secondly, their coaching starts much earlier than ours.”‘Puri goes on to say: “There is an enormous paucity of coaches. I have never been coached till now except by my father who was a club-level player and at the few coaching camps that are held. But the biggest problem is that of space to practise. We approach some schools but it is like begging.The one great advantage of Asiad would be if they let us have the Hall of States for practice – let’s see what happens.” Adds Eliza Nelson, captain of the victorious women’s hockey team: “It’s great to see the enthusiasm. But will it last?” Ultimately, it is that air of uncertainty that pervades the current post-Asiad atmosphere. Says Devine-Jones: “I am doubtful if financial and other pressures will ease after the Asiad. But with a Sports Ministry, there is reason for at least some optimism.” Rajiv Bali, manager of the Indian volleyball team, is equally cautious about the future: “We’ll have to wait and cross our fingers. It all depends on what is decided in the coming months.”Optimism: There lies the rub. So far, Sports Minister Buta Singh has been content to bask in the Asiad glory without making any concrete promises for the future. “We are working on a national sports policy,” he says. “Once that is finalised, we can go ahead with our plans.” But what exactly those plans are he is not willing to comment on just yet. Similarly, India’s ambitious plans to host international meets, including the 1992 Olympics, are mere straws in the wind as yet.The only certainty so far is next year’s Afro-Asian Games; the myriad world championships that were bid for during the Asiad euphoria are unlikely to materialise unless a major concentrated effort is made.However, Raja Bhalindra Singh, president of the IOA, is quite optimistic of India’s sporting future. “Delhi stands a good chance of getting the Olympics,” he says. “The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will be meeting for the first time in March 1983, when it will decide whether to give India the Olympic Games.” Singh adds that what is needed is massive promotion of sports which can help in building up the sports industry so that high-quality equipment is available in India.But discussions with various federation heads, coaches and athletes reveal that in their opinion a huge gap has to be bridged before India can achieve results and take on the image of a leading sporting country:In a situation where the average age of athletes in every sport is gradually decreasing, it is of vital importance to introduce a ‘catch-them-young’ policy like East Germany has. This is the basic level where India loses out. Devine-Jones says that he gets boxers to train after they have joined the army, which gives them just a couple of years of international competition. In the sports-conscious countries, talent is picked up between the ages of nine and 13 and scholarships, free facilities and expert coaching combine to make them into world class prospects. In India, the lack of incentive or financial gain in sports means that the people who take to it seriously are sorely limited.The future of any sports programme rests in the broadness of the base that can be provided and this, again, is where India lags far behind. The lack of sports consciousness means that India’s base, from where future sportsmen can be nurtured, is tragically narrow. Even in schools, the emphasis is usually on educational distinction rather than sports. Rural India, with 75 per cent of the population, is virtually non-existent as far as sports facilities and sportsmen are concerned.Another major drawback is in the process of selection which all too often is riven by parochial conflicts and regional divisions. Eventually, the end result is hardly conducive to the betterment of sport.The lack of adequate competition is one of the most significant reasons for Indian sport being in limbo. It is impossible to improve performances if the competition is only as good as you are. Apart from cricket and hockey, the international exposure that Indian sportsmen are provided with is severely limited.Poor spectator response leads to poor finances. Apart from the glamour sports like cricket and in some places, football, the spectator turn-out at most sporting events hardly makes up the cost of staging the event. A professional approach to the selling of sport and the involvement of more private commercial houses could go a long way in increasing gate receipts at sporting fixtures.Lack of experienced and expert coaches is obviously one of the more serious defects in the system. Again, this requires more international exposure so that Indian coaches can keep up with modern developments. One of the main reasons that India fared so creditably in the Games was the unprecedented presence of a large number of expert foreign coaches who brought with them modern techniques and training methods.Finally, there are the facilities. If the Asiad facilities and stadia are going to be wrapped up in cocoons and only taken out of moth-balls for major international meets, that leaves Indian sportsmen still woefully short of practice facilities. Table tennis players have nowhere to practise, tennis players find balls too expensive, gymnasts have no proper equipment. There is also the related question of high-protein diets for the sportsmen – the lack of which has certainly contributed to the stunted growth of sport in India over the decades.By last fortnight, however, there were indications that the fate of the Asiad facilities had been settled. According to Shankaran Nair, secretary-general, soc, it has been tentatively decided to set up a sports corporation which will be an autonomous body charged with looking after the Asiad facilities, promotion of sports in India and also come up with proposals to use the available floorspace profitably.By the end of the year, the Government is expected to constitute a board which will draw up the blueprint for the sports corporation.The decision has not been welcomed in some quarters. Says Bhalindra Singh: “The Village is to be retained for international competitions, although this has upset the DDA (Delhi Development Authority) who had hoped to recover their money from the sale of the flats.” Meanwhile, the Government plans to lease the houses for intermediate durations so that they are available when required.But with the plans still in the melting pot, a number of alternative proposals have come up. One is to sell the houses to nonresident Indians while Mohammad Yunus, chairman of the Trade Fair Authority of India has his own proposal. “These houses could be used by public sector officials who are posted to Delhi and find it difficult to pay the exorbitant rents,” he says.Simultaneously, hoteliers have also submitted a proposal which would include the Village complex in a total package for tourists visiting New Delhi. They opine that a sports-cum-tourism body could better utilise the facilities. But the Government, according to available information, is in no great hurry to make a final decision and will only do so after the sports corporation Board is set up and their findings are presented.All these are encouraging signs but it is only the next few months that can really indicate which way the wind will blow for Indian sport: a gentle breeze or a gale of sufficient force to put India firmly on the international sporting map.