Manoj said that he will file a case in the Punjab and Haryana High CourtFeeling “insulted” after his name was not added to this year’s list of Arjuna awardees, boxer Manoj Kumar today said he would sue the Sports Ministry for the “injustice” meted out to him.The controversial recommendation of boxer Jai Bhagwan for the prestigious Arjuna Awards stands after the selection committee yesterday decided not to make any changes in the original 15-athlete list.Sports Authority of India Director General Jiji Thomson, who was part of the Awards committee, said the panel discussed seven athletes in the review meeting but it was unanimously agreed that no changes were needed.Manoj said that he had been assured by the sports secretary and Thomson himself that his name would be added in yesterday’s meeting and their backtracking was a “betrayal”.”When my elder brother met the Sports Secretary on August 13, the Sports Secretary had admitted that there was a mistake on the part of the ministry by mistakenly thinking that I was involved in a dope offence. Mr Ajit Sharan had told my brother that my name will be added in the review meeting,” Manoj, who is in the national camp at the NIS, said.”The SAI DG himself called me up the next day (August 14) that my case will be considered and no injustice would be done to me. He assured me that my name will be added in the Arjuna list. But all these turned out to be false promises and they have backtracked now. I have a trial for the Asian Games next week and I am in severe mental stress,” he said.advertisement”First, they tarnished my image by mistakenly calling me a dope offender and then betrayed me by backtracking on what they had promised. It’s an insult and betrayal,” a dejected Manoj, who won a gold in 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, said.Manoj’s elder brother and coach Rajesh Kumar said that he will file a case in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.”This is an injustice to my brother. What motivation an athlete will have to bring laurels for the country if he was treated like this. I will file a case at the High Court in Chandigarh very soon.”I will file an RTI to the government tomorrow first and then the case at the High Court. I will ask for the points Manoj has got under the marking system used by the selection panel and the points earned by the 15 recommended athletes. That information will be used as evidence in the High Court case,” said Rajesh.Rajesh also wondered how Thomson can claim that Manoj has time with him and he can get the award later on. “How can it be? He (Manoj) won a gold in the 2010 Commonwealth Games and this achievement will not be considered for next year’s Arjuna Award as only four-year achievement is counted. Next year’s Arjuna will start counting achievements from 2011 onwards,” he said.”Otherwise, what is the point of waiting. If a person is deserving, then he is deserving. Many a times in the past, two athletes from the same sport were given Arjuna.”Rajesh said Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had also assured, through his personal secretary, that the case of Manoj will be addressed and those officials who committed the mistake of taking him as a dope offender will be taken to task.”I sought a meeting with the sports minister on August 13 and I waited for him late on that day. The Minister returned to office around 9:30pm after some work. The Minister sent his PS to tell me that Manoj’s case will be reconsidered in the selection committee meeting.”The PS also told me that the officials who placed Manoj’s name as a dope offender before the selection panel will also be taken to task. But now it turned out that all these were just talk in the air,” he said.
A Labour Market Forum, to be hosted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security on Wednesday (December 13), will seek to facilitate a robust discussion on access to employment opportunities for youth, the labour market needs and the existing skills gaps in the sector. Mrs. Robinson said the forum will look at the major job prospects for youngsters and how access can be improved; what the best practices are in addressing similar challenges in other jurisdictions; and the forging of partnerships. The issues highlighted by the National Labour Market Study include the recognition of a skills gap, lack of relevant work experience by jobseekers and lack of soft skills in the workplace, inclusive of behavioural and customer service skills. Story Highlights A Labour Market Forum, to be hosted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security on Wednesday (December 13), will seek to facilitate a robust discussion on access to employment opportunities for youth, the labour market needs and the existing skills gaps in the sector.According to Portfolio Minister, Hon. Shahine Robinson, the forum will bring together academic professionals, employers and policymakers in a series of panel discussions looking to provide answers to a series of questions arising out of a labour market study completed in March this year.The issues highlighted by the National Labour Market Study include the recognition of a skills gap, lack of relevant work experience by jobseekers and lack of soft skills in the workplace, inclusive of behavioural and customer service skills.Mrs. Robinson said the forum will look at the major job prospects for youngsters and how access can be improved; what the best practices are in addressing similar challenges in other jurisdictions; and the forging of partnerships.“The major concerns remain in the questions to be addressed, such as… are young people finding decent work and what are the challenges; [as well as] how do we address the issue in relation to soft skills and work experience in the job market,” she said.The Study revealed that 80 per cent of employers are optimistic about business prospects, but also showed that there is uncertainty as to whether these expansions will create quality jobs and simultaneously close the skills gap.Mrs. Robinson said the Ministry aims to adequately address these issues through targeted collaboration with various stakeholders.Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Colette Roberts-Risden, said the insight to be gained from the Forum is critical to a range of stakeholders, particularly educational and training institutions, and youth contemplating an area of study.“Educational and training institutions need to know what the market needs, where the growth prospects in terms of employment are for the economy, so that they can play their role in training our people to meet the demands of the market,” she said.“The ideal is for us in Jamaica to generate and create jobs for people to be gainfully employed, reducing the unemployment rate, thereby leading to growth and a reduction of poverty in society,” Mrs. Roberts-Risden added.Funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Forum will be streamed live, and the public, particularly students, are being urged to participate. Persons are also invited to register for attendance online.The Forum will be held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel under the theme ‘Jamaican Employers and Educators, Working Together to Close the Skills Gap’.