For a long time motorsport enthusiasts in India have bemoaned the fact that the Government of India failed to recognise the sport that they loved so much. Which means that at a time when Formula 1 came to India back in 2011, the Federation of Motor Sport Clubs of India (FMSCI), which is the governing body for motorsport in the country, was not included on the list of the National Sports Federation (NSF). At long last, though, that wrong appears to be righted.
In the latest revised list that has been published by the sports ministry, the FMSCI has been included in the list of sports backed by the NSF. And while this in itself is good news, it is also worth noting that the inclusion has been made in the category of 'Others', which means that there will be no financial assistance that is provided to the FMSCI. Given that motorsport is expensive, and that world over the sport receives immense support from various governments, this is rather sad.
However, we would also like to point out that it is a step in the right direction. The fact that the FMSCI now makes it to the list of sports backed by the NSF, financial backing or not, means that national championship motorsport events now get more weightage, which will count particularly in the case of youngsters who are breaking into the field. Support from educational institutions and parents is also likely to be easier in the case of a recognised sport.
What does this mean for motorsport in India, then? Well, at the moment, not very much. However, the step, though small, is significant. It could also be a sign that the new government in power really is keen on having Formula 1 back in the country, and the plans of an Indian Grand Prix in 2017 could well materialise. However, we will need to wait and watch to see the visible benefits.