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For a nation so large, why was India’s Olympic performance so underwhelming?



Rio de Janeiro: India's Pusarla V Sindhu kisses her silver medal after her match with Spain's Carolina Marin in women's Singles final at the 2016 Summer Olympics at Rio de Janeiro in Brazil on Friday.

Rio de Janeiro: India’s Pusarla V Sindhu kisses her silver medal after her match with Spain’s Carolina Marin in women’s Singles final at the 2016 Summer Olympics at Rio de Janeiro in Brazil on Friday.

RIO DE JANEIRO (Diya TV) — For a nation of its size, India surely succeeds at under-succeeding on the world’s largest sporting stage — the country walked away from Rio with a medal count of two, and it seems during each Olympic Games, rivals China and Russia walk away with a multitude of gold medals alone.

For fans in India — one of the world’s most rapidly developing economies and most populous nations — the results and event often serve as an exercise of despair.

As a nation, India have managed just a single gold medal performance since 1980. During the 2008 Games in Beijing, shooter Abhinav Bindra captured gold for the nation at the 10 meter air rifle event. India’s previous gold medals, the eight won between 1928-1980, all came in field hockey.

To put that in perspective, U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps has won as many gold medals as an individual as India has as a nation since 1900.

The hope of India’s fans rans higher than it ever has in recent history. After the nation’s inspiring performance at the 2012 London Games where it collected six medals, expectations were surely set higher considering India sent its largest contingent in its Olympic history.

The underperforming and shallow medal haul? — A professor from the prestigious Duke University of Indian descent has a theory of his own.

Professor Anirudh Krishna, who is also the co-author of a 2008 paper called ‘Why do some countries win more Olympic medals?’ According to Krishna’s paper, high poverty levels are sufficient enough a reason, this because several other low levels of per-capita income, such as Kenya and Jamaica show plenty of performance at the Games.

“India does not have a sports culture,” explained Boria Majumdar, a leading Indian sports scholar who’s authored numerous books on the topic. Indian athletes who have achieved international success are exceptions rather than products of the country’s sports system, he said.

“Unless there is a synergized sports culture you will never win a string of medals. A fundamental overhaul is needed and urgently so.”

Research shows that academics, not achievement in extra-curriculars such as sports. A popular Hindi saying roughly translates to “if you study hard you will live like a king but if you play sports you will ruin your life.”

“Indians, over the decades, have been mostly pre-occupied climbing the socio-economic ladder. Consequently, the pool of talent created at the local community, school and university levels, leaves much to be desired both in terms of size and quality,” said Arun Navaratna, senior economist at Australia New Zealand Bank.

Additionally, very little support exists in terms of providing support for those who might display an above-average athletic prowess.

“Scarce public investible resources have eluded sports.This is further compounded by misallocation, lack of transparency, poor asset management and an absence of a framework for measuring impact of public spending. This is unlikely to change, despite the government’s best intentions,” Navaratna added.

Scholarships and endowments exist for those athletes, a system which guarantees a basic minimum standard of living. However, the system is littered with red tape, political interference and even corruption, Navaratna said. India’s sporting association is no stranger publicly to to athletic scandal. In 2012, Indian Olympic Association was suspended from the International Olympic Committee for electing leaders with pending criminal charges. As a result, Indian athletes competing in the Sochi Winter Games were forced to do so under the IOC flag instead of India’s.

Just before the road to Brazil began this year, a National Sports Ethics Commission Bill was introduced in the Indian parliament in an attempt to order to improve the overall integrity of sporting culture.

Others blame instead the Olympic sport selection itself.

“With the exception of hockey, Indian sport tends to be focused on events that are not included in the Olympics, most importantly cricket,” Price Waterhouse Coopers said in a June report.

But in what perhaps could be the largest contributing factor, inequality could be responsible for driving the medal-less engine.

“The root problem, as I see it, is one of limited and ineffective participation, arising from the difficulties in gaining access to [serious sports training],” Krishna stated. “Much of the country’s talent remains undetected; it takes a degree of privilege to be a serious competitor.”

For example, South Korea, a country of only 50 million people, consistently racks up their medal count because almost every Korean knows what the Olympic Games are and has a chance to attend a high school, he noted.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a premium of economic incentives for improving the nation’s Olympic record. “Helping individuals advance to the limits of their potential in diverse arenas—including sports—is the development strategy of the future,” said Krishna.

“India needs to invest in the long term, not expecting miracles at the touch of a button,” summed up Krishna.


Trump becomes first U.S. President to be impeached twice



Trump Becomes First U.S. President To Be Impeached Twice | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The House of Representatives voted 232-197 to impeach President Trump for “incitement of insurrection.” He is the first President to be impeached twice, with 10 Republicans joining Democrats to vote for the removal of the President, whose term ends January 20th. But the Senate will not convene until January 19th to hold a trial for the president.

A full week after the Capitol was stormed by his supporters, President Trump released a video saying he condemned the mob violence that left 5 people dead and threatened the lives of members of Congress. Trump took on a solemn tone and did not address being impeached, nor acknowledge his successor President-Elect Joe Biden.

After months of massive nationwide protests by India’s farmers, the Indian Supreme Court has put three contentious farm laws on hold until further notice. The court said the decision to suspend the laws “may assuage the hurt feelings of the farmers and encourage them to come to the negotiating table with confidence and good faith.” The farmers argue the new laws passed in September would privatize land and undermine their livelihoods by giving more power to corporations.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Impeachment moves ahead despite limited GOP support



Impeachment Moves Ahead Despite Limited Gop Support | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Democrats in the House are moving ahead with the second impeachment of President Trump over accusations Trump incited supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol. Despite tepid Republican support, the vote will be held Wednesday. Vice President Pence said he would not invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump before his final day in office January 20th.

Indian Prime Minister Modi praised the Indian diaspora around the world for all their hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Modi says Indians have gone above and beyond with their giving and generosity, especially medical workers on the front lines. He also thanked temples, gurdwaras and other social service agencies for being there for everyone without discrimination.

India authorized two COVID-19 vaccines for use, putting it’s massive manufacturing capacity in the spotlight.  The Serum Institute of India is the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume. It will likely provide almost all the vaccines in India and ship to many other places around the world later this year.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Rioters face criminal charges, Capitol Police chief resigns



Rioters Face Criminal Charges, Capitol Police Chief Resigns | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Federal investigators are looking to bring criminal charges on everyone involved in the insurrection in the U.S. Capitol and they are also looking at the role President Trump had in inviting his supporters to interrupt the certification of President-Elect Joe Biden’s win. 15 criminal cases have already been filed, including one against one man who brought a military semi-automatic rifle and 11 Molotov cocktails. Capitol Police are also under fire for how the building was breached in the first place, leading to the resignation of their police chief. The House & Senate Sergeant at Arms are also being replaced.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are leading the calls for the 25th Amendment to be invoked against President Trump. The 25th Amendment states in part the vice president and a majority of the cabinet can decide that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties” of the office.

Several White House officials resigned in the aftermath of violence at the Capitol. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced their resignations, the first to leave President Trump’s Cabinet since the attack. Trump’s former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, top European and Russian official on the National Security Council Ryan Tully and First Lady Melania Trump’s Chief of Staff Stephanie Grisham have also quit.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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