After bringing home just two medals from the Rio Olympics, India needs to be realistic in its preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Games and should narrow its focus to a handful of sports, says former All England badminton champion Prakash Padukone.P.V. Sindhu’s silver medal in the badminton women’s singles and a bronze from wrestler Sakshi Malik at the Rio Games was considered a sorry return for a nation of 1.3 billion people. (Rio miss will hurt me for the rest of my life: Sushil Kumar to India Today)India have won a total of 28 medals since first competing at the Olympics in 1900 but a government think tank has come up with a strategy it hopes will help the country to 50 medals in 2024, including prioritising 10 sports.Padukone, an outlier who emerged from India’s backwaters to win the All England in 1980, 12 years before badminton made its debut as a medal sport at the Barcelona Games, thinks funding should be channelled into fewer sports. (India target to win 50 medals in 2024 Olympic Games)”There are only five or six sports where we can get a medal,” he told Reuters at his badminton academy in Bangalore. “We have chances in archery, boxing, badminton, wrestling, shooting and in team sport, hockey.””Basically, we need to identify these sports and focus right now and provide as much funds. And then may be someone like gymnast, Dipa Karmakar, because she’s an exceptional talent.” (PV Sindhu strikes Gold after Rio Silver)Padukone said India should follow the United States’ and Britain’s approach by starting preparations at least four or five years ahead of an Olympics.advertisement”The preparation for the Tokyo Games should start from yesterday. I think we should be realistic and aim for 10 medals, nothing more than that,” he said.MAJOR FLAWSPadukone added that success depended on having the right coaching and suggested bringing in foreign expertise.”One of the major flaws which we need to address is to coach our coaches,” Padukone said. “In those sports where we don’t have the expertise, we should hire top coaches in the world. (India need to focus on athletes and stop faux pas at world events)”In one year, these foreign coaches can train 100 coaches. We need to create a separate institute for coaches where they are provided every possible facility in terms of theoretical knowledge, practical training and scientific support.”There also needed to be change at the top with the Indian Olympic Association and sports federations, Padukone said.”What India lacks is professionalism in sports federations. We need to have right people,” he added.”They need not know anything about sports, but should be willing to learn. The Indian Institute of Management guys who know finance, marketing, etc. are the right people.”Padukone said India could learn from the England badminton association. (‘Want to make India a boxing superpower’)”They have a CEO and then they have different departments like marketing, development, sponsorship, coaching, etc,” he said.”Each department is headed by somebody and every year they have a target to meet.”Sindhu’s silver medal and K. Srikanth’s appearance in the men’s singles quarter-finals in Rio have boosted Indian hopes of multiple badminton medals in Tokyo.”It’s difficult to predict, but it’s possible to get medals in men’s singles and ladies singles, or maybe two in men’s singles or two in ladies singles,” said the former world number one.”There’s more possibility in men’s singles than in ladies singles as we have six or eight players among the top 10 to 40 but again I’m not taking anything away from women’s players.”
Defense Secretary Ash Carter reiterated the administration’s threat to veto legislation that adds $38 billion to DOD’s war account to get around the Budget Control Act spending caps, during a hearing Wednesday of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. “While this approach clearly recognizes that the budget total we’ve requested is needed, the avenue it takes is just as clearly a road to nowhere,” Carter told the panel.If lawmakers stick to the path outlined in the compromise budget resolution adopted by both chambers over the past week, he said, the department again will need to make hasty and drastic decisions by Oct. 1, reported DOD News. President Obama has said he would not accept fiscal 2016 spending bills that stick to the spending caps and don’t provide any budgetary relief to domestic agencies.“The Joint Chiefs and I are concerned that if our congressional committees continue to advance this idea and don’t explore alternatives we’ll all be left holding the bag,” Carter said.The secretary also criticized Congress for blocking the department’s cost-saving reforms, such as retiring the A-10 fleet, raising contributions for participants in Tricare and holding another BRAC round. The combination of the spending caps and congressional restrictions on belt-tightening reforms amounts to a “double whammy,” he said.“If confronted with sequestration-level budgets and continued obstacles to reform, I do not believe that we can simply keep making incremental cuts,” Carter said.Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned the panel that imposing the full burden of the budget caps will jeopardize national security.“Sequestration would fundamentally and significantly change the way we deploy the force, and in so doing [would] affect the way we can shape the security environment,” Dempsey said, reported DOD News. “We’ll probably be almost 20 percent smaller from where we started when I became the chairman, and our forward presence will be reduced by more than a third. We’ll have less influence, and we’ll be less responsive. Conflict will take longer to resolve and will be more costly in terms of dollars and casualties.”While the world is less certain, the one certainty is that whatever will happen will happen quickly. Under sequestration, the chairman said, American forces “will be further away and less ready than we need to be.” Dan Cohen AUTHOR
BNP men attack prison van, snatch away two activists. Photo: Saiful IslamA total of 200 people have been arrested in three cases filed with Shahbagh and Ramna police stations in connection with the ‘attack on the police’ and snatching of two people from prison van in front of the High Court, reports UNB.Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) commissioner Md Asaduzzaman Mia on Sunday revealed the number of arrestees while briefing newsmen after inspecting the overall security of the on-going Ekushey book fair premises in the capital.Earlier on 31 January, police filed two cases against 700-800 people in connection with snatching of two BNP activists from a prison van on 30 January.Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi and its standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy were also sued in the cases.The DMP chief also said police will be in a strict position to protect people’s security and maintain order in the capital.He said all out preparations have been taken to maintain the law and order in the capital on 8 February, day scheduled for pronunciation of verdict in a graft case filed against BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia.DMP Commissioner added that all the DMP units including Detective Branch and Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit have been working in coordination.The DMP commissioner alleged that attacking on the police and snatching two people away from the prison van were arranged to create an unstable situation in the country. Those who have been found involved in the incident must be brought under the laws, he said.About the aftermath of 8 February verdict, he said, nothing will happen.No anarchy will be allowed centering the verdict.
University of Texas System regents have chosen the former chancellor of the City University of New York as the sole finalist to be the next chancellor of the 14-campus system in Texas.During a meeting Saturday in Austin, regents voted to name James B. Milliken as their choice. He was previously chancellor of the City University of New York, the nation’s largest urban university system. He is also a former president of the University of Nebraska.By state law, regents will have to wait 21 days before they can formally appoint Milliken.The Board of Regents unanimously voted to select national higher ed leader James B. Milliken as sole finalist for chancellor: https://t.co/hCxHCxu1BU— UT System (@utsystem) August 4, 2018“His experiences in higher education leadership are deep and broad, and he has very effectively guided university systems that have many of the characteristics and strategic aspirations embedded throughout UT’s academic and health institutions,” said Regents’ Chairman Sara Martinez Tucker of Milliken, in a press release. “Moreover, he has enjoyed strong support from elected officials, students, and campus leaders in his previous posts, all of whom described him as someone they could count on in times of great opportunity and challenges.”Milliken is expected to lead a system made up of 235,000 students and around 100,000 employees. The chancellor’s duties include representing the system in legislative matters and fundraising.He will replace William McRaven, who stepped down in May. Share