Eligible sportspersons lacking minimum qualification and out of turn employment of sportspersons leading to surge in litigation were among the hosts of administrative issues that nudged the Haryana government to bury the 2018 rules under which the sportspersons were also appointed as Haryana Civil Service (HCS) and Haryana Police Service (HPS) officers.
On Wednesday, when the Haryana cabinet met, one of the key policy decisions it took was to replace the Haryana Outstanding Sportspersons (Recruitment and Conditions of Service) Rules, 2018, with the Haryana Outstanding Sportspersons (Group A, B & C) Service Rules, 2021.
Now, the outstanding sportspersons will be appointed under the new service rules in a separate cadre for promotion of sports. The new rules apply brakes on accommodating outstanding sportspersons in the elite HCS and HPS mandated under the abolished 2018 rules.
In the cabinet agenda, the sports department admitted that it was facing difficulties in providing government employment to eligible sportspersons as some of them lacked requisite qualification.
Another issue that prompted the state government to put in place the new rules was the Punjab and Haryana high court making some observations regarding the 2018 rules in two different cases of 2018 and 2019 in cases of sportspersons appointments.
Yet another compelling reason to replace the 2018 rules was sportspersons of certain stream exploiting the loophole in the existing rules, a government functionary involved in framing the new rules said asking not to be identified.
“The case of IAS officer Jagdeep Singh’s son, Vishwajeet Singh, who is an international shooter and was appointed as an HCS officer, also played a key role in forcing the government to replace the old rules,” officials familiar with the development said.
After appointing Singh as an HCS officer in December 2019 under the sports category, the state government didn’t issue an appointment letter till September 2020, forcing him to move the HC. Now, the HC has directed the state government to issue appointment letter within four weeks.
Top government officials said that under the new policy medal winners in Olympics and Asian Games will be offered Group-A posts.
DIFFICULTIES IN PROVIDING GOVT JOBS
As per the cabinet agenda, the sports department was facing some difficulties in providing government jobs, especially posts of Group-A and B to the eligible outstanding sportspersons having qualification below matriculation standard. Some other departments “did not have the posts for outstanding sportspersons.”
In this backdrop and keeping in view the problems the departments were facing in implementing the 2018 rules and the observations made by the HC, a departmental committee was set up as per the August 10, 2020 orders of Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
Officials said that inter-departmental consultations were held to draft the Haryana Outstanding Sportspersons (Group A, B, and C) Service Rules, 2021.
While CM approved the new rules on January 28, 2021, finance department gave nod on February 5, followed by general administration department on February 8. The matter was submitted for concurrence of chief secretary, and Haryana Staff Selection Commission.
The new rules were also placed before the Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) also that gave approval to the new policy on February 9, a day before the cabinet approved the policy.
The outstanding sportspersons will be given provisional appointments in case they do not possess the requisite qualifications for the post at the time of initial appointment. They will be granted two extra years in addition to the prescribed period required for the attainment of requisite qualification.
The outstanding sportspersons will be eligible to apply for the post within 10 years of their sports achievement or up to the age of 43, whichever is earlier.
Under the new service rules, a separate cadre will be created to promote sports in the state for which 50 posts of Group A (deputy director), 100 posts of Group B (senior coach), 150 posts of Group B (coach) and 250 posts of Group C (junior coach) have been sanctioned. The upper age limit has also been reduced from 50 years to 42 years.
Some new tournaments have been included in new rules such as South Asian Games, National Games, Ranji Trophy, Circle Kabaddi, etc.