Kiren Rijiju
Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports (Photo: Twitter @RijijuOffice)

In a decision aimed at encouraging Indian coaches and to make their compensation commensurate with competence and experience, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Sports Minister Kiren Riiju says the government is set to remove the salary cap of Rs 2 lakhs for Indian coaches training elite athletes.

Speaking about the decision, the Sports Minister said, “Several Indian coaches are showing very good results and need to be rewarded for their hard work. The government is also keen to attract the best coaching talent from across the country to train our elite athletes and we do not want the cap on compensation to be a deterrent for good coaches to join.” Besides the increased remuneration, it has also been decided that the contract of all Indian coaches will be drawn up for 4 years, like foreign coaches, to ensure that elite athletes training under Indian coaches have continuity of coaching in one Olympic cycle.

The increased remuneration and longer contract period is also to attract ex-elite athletes into the high-performance sporting ecosystem and to use their experience and skill to train athletes bound for major international competitions, including the Olympics. Eminent coaches already working in various Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) would also be allowed to join on deputation and be eligible for the 4-year contract as well as the higher salary structure.

The remuneration will be decided on the basis of the ex-elite athlete’s performance as an athlete as well as his or her success as a coach. All new coaches and existing coaches who are given the new contract will be imparting training at National Camps and SAI’s National Center of Excellence (NCOEs), and will be selected jointly by the Sports Ministry and the National Sporting Federations.

The Sports Ministry will also resume grassroot-level talent scouting with an eye on 2028 Olympics, as the situation improves after the Covid-19 pandemic. The elite Indian coaches/ex athletes form the country, including those from PSUs and leading Sports promotion Boards, will be part of the Talent Scouting Committee which will be touring various parts of the country to scout for raw talent in the age group of 10-15 years.

Lauding the move of removing the cap on compensation and longer contracts for Indian coaches, Pullela Gopichand, National Coach of the Indian badminton team says, “This is a long standing request of the sporting fraternity. I am very happy with the decision because it will give a great boost to the overall sporting ecosystem by attracting many talented coaches and eminent ex-athletes to join the profession.”