New Delhi: Sports Minister Jitendra Singh on Monday said that his ministry wants free and fair elections of the Indian Olympic Association but would not get involved into the upcoming IOA polls.

"We are not going to get involved into the IOA elections. We want that the IOA elections be held in a free and fair manner," Jitendra said at the sidelines of the silver jubilee function of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan here.

Asked about International Olympic Committee rejecting the application of the Sports Code of the government in the IOA elections, Jitendra said, "A government observer will attend the IOA elections and we will see what we can do after studying his report."

Asked if he would press for the Sports Code to be cleared by the Cabinet, he merely said: "We won't compromise on Sports Code."

Earlier, while addressing the gathering, Jitendra said that his Ministry would work towards establishing 28 Centres of Excellence in the country, each catering to one sport.

"The Ministry is working towards establishing 28 CoEs across the country, each for a single sport. Like a CoE for hockey, one for football, and so on. This will enable us to tap talent from the nook and corner of the country," he said.

"There is vast untapped talent in the rural areas and we have to tap the talent," he added.

He said his ministry would undertake a computerization programme of all the Nehru Yuva Kendras across the country so that they are interconnected.

"A youth in Jammu and Kashmir should be able to know what his counterpart in Assam is doing. They can borrow a programme which was successful in one part of the country to another," he added.

He said a massive youth convention, involving the Nehru Yuva Kendras, would be held here in February next year with an aim to strengthen national integration and bring communal harmony.


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