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    Default Sports ministry wants Sachin Tendulkar as adviser

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    Sachin Tendulkar may not have thought much about life post-retirement but the sports ministry already has plans for him. It is hoping to rope him in as a member of its high-powered governing council, which will discuss and approve the government's policies.

    The innovation council for sports - mooted by Sam Pitroda, advisor to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and endorsed by the prime minister's office - will comprise eminent people from various fields - sportspersons, officials from sports federations and government sports promotion boards, corporate czars, jurists and journalists amongst others. The idea was communicated to the ministry two months ago.

    Tendulkar and badminton ace Prakash Padukone are two of a handful of sportspersons the ministry has identified to be members of the council, a consultative body to be headed by sports minister Jitendra Singh.

    "The thrust has been to introduce new innovative techniques at the policy-making stage. Ever since he took over, the sports minister has been keen on setting up such a body. Things began moving at a faster pace once the council of sports was proposed by the PMO. The council will be a sounding board for our policies. It will study them in detail, suggest changes and approve our ideas. The acceptability factor too will be good as these policies and ideas will be approved by eminent people," ministry sources told TOI.

    The ministry wanted Tendulkar on board ever since the master batsman exhorted the government to finetune a system to make sports part of the school curriculum and broad-base talent hunt at the grassroots level. "Tendulkar had sent a letter to the human resources development ministry some months ago on nurturing grassroots talent and sports in schools. When the HRD ministry forwarded the letter to us, we realised that Tendulkar and we were on the same page. We too have been working on grassroots projects," the official said.

    The formation of the council will take a big step forward once the terms of reference for the council, which have been drafted, are approved.



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