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Posted at: Oct 4, 2017, 1:44 AM; last updated: Oct 4, 2017, 1:45 AM (IST)FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP 2 DAYS TO GO

Novice executors of Mission XI Million

Many personnel hired as coordinators for ambitious flagship programme had little or no connection with the sport

Sabi Hussain

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3

Archana Kumari is a freelance researcher and administrator. Mayank Bisaria, a graduate from Delhi University, is pursuing a degree in accountancy. Vinay Singh coordinates office services by implementing administrative systems.

Going by their credentials, one would not assume that these three are involved with football. However, these persons, with varied interests, had been on the payroll of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup’s Local Organising Committee (LOC) as “state coordinators” for the Union Government’s ‘Mission XI Million’ programme.

In fact, the list of coordinators obtained by The Tribune under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has led to some shocking details tumbling out.

Out of the 49 coordinators designated for the MXIM programme, LOC’s RTI reply revealed that at least 11 neither possessed any qualification as football coordinator or administrator, nor were they associated with the game at any point of their professional careers.

Also, there were four MXIM coordinators about whom LOC only made a passing reference of their association with football, but their achievements weren’t disclosed.

In some other cases, the professional qualifications of the state coordinators mentioned in the RTI reply were: “sports features for the largest English daily in the Northeast”; “PE teacher in a school in Dehradun” and “law graduate and worked as a legal advisor”.

However, rest of the people in the list did have a mention of their football qualification and achievements – like representation in the state age-group teams; licenced coach from AIFF, AFC or NIS Patiala; AIFF instructor and diplomas in football management.

These coordinators were entrusted by LOC with the implementation of the MXIM programme in their region and conducting workshops in over 37 cities and 12,000 schools across all 29 states and Delhi-NCR region in coordination with a Gurugram-based private event management firm.

Uneven salary

Another discrepancy in the appointment of these coordinators – as highlighted in the RTI reply – was the glaring mismatch in their salary structure. Sample this: while Amlan Das, a regular columnist for a Northeast paper mainly focussing on alternate career options, was paid 

Rs 35,000 per month for his job as a coordinator, Bilal Ahmed Punjabi from Jammu and Kashmir, an AIFF ‘D’ Licence and grassroots coaching certificate holder, was paid Rs 25,000. Another example is of Archana Kumari, who was paid Rs 30,000 per month. On the other hand, Milton Ghosh from Tripura, who is working as a coach with the Tripura Football Association and had played senior Nationals, was paid just Rs 20,000. 

The list of coordinators shared with The Tribune is replete with many such disparities in salaries of qualified football coaches, managers and administrators and the ones with no knowledge of football administration. All these coordinators were appointed by U-17 WC tournament director Javier Ceppi, LOC U-17 WC project director Joy Bhattacharjya and MXIM programme head Sonia Minocha. The discrepencies raise key questions: What were the criteria in selecting the coordinators? Where these posts advertised for or were the candidates simply chosen on discretion?

How many schools covered?

It’s been also reported that the Sports Ministry, AIFF and LOC failed to reach the target of covering 11 million schoolchildren across the country under the MXIM programme.

According to a report in an English daily, around 1.5 lakh children were covered in Delhi as per the figures provided by LOC. The claim, however, was not found genuine. For example, LOC claimed that 4,650 students were reached in four schools under the Kerala Educational Society in Delhi. But it was found that neither any official involved with the MXIM project visited the school, nor was the school aware of the students being part of the programme. But LOC marked the school as covered under the MXIM programme.

According to the report, a similar pattern of offering misleading figures was followed at the Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) Delhi Cantonment and KV Pragati Vihar.

DISCREPANCIES IN CREDENTIALS AND SALARIES OF COORDINATORS

Name: Amit Ahuja 
Qualification: Administrative skills and proficiency in Word and Excel 
Salary: Rs 15,000 per month

Name: Archana Kumari 
Qualification: A freelance researcher and administrator. A Ph D., worked with Big Synergy and was in the research team for television shows produced by the organisation 
Salary: Rs 30,000 pm

Name: Mayank Bisaria
Qualification: Graduated from Delhi University in 2017 and pursuing CMA 
Salary: Rs 12,000 pm

Name: Aisha N
Qualification: B. Tech from Kerala University, Thiruvananthapuram. Gained experience as a sports coordinator 
Salary: Rs 10,000 

Name: Amlan Das
Qualification: A sports writer for an English daily in the Northeast. Also, a regular columnist for the campus supplement of the paper
Salary: Rs 35,000 pm

Name: Kulbhushan 
Qualification: A PE teacher in a school in Dehradun, MA in Physical Education 
Salary: Rs 24,000 

Name: Subhahish Ghosh 
Qualification: A law graduate, worked as a legal advisor. Co-founder of Khelduar Foundation 
Salary: Rs 30,000 

Name: Shree Harsha 
Qualification: A new-age business development professional with over six years of experience in nurturing relationships across major industries like engineering services and sports 
Salary: Rs 35,000 pm

Name: Vidushi Naudiyal 
Qualification: Administrative and digital media skills 
Salary: Rs 16,000

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