Media celebrate India's return to Olympics

Indian athletes walked under the Olympics flag during the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Games Image copyright AFP
Image caption Indian athletes walked under the Olympics flag during the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Games

Media cheer India's return to the Olympic fold, while worry over the future of cricket following allegations of betting in the Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended India in December 2012 for holding elections in defiance of the Olympic charter and appointing officials facing corruption charges related to the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The IOC on Tuesday lifted its ban on the Indian Olympics Association (IOA) following N Ramachandran's appointment as the president in what the media described as "clean elections".

Indian athletes have been taking part in the Sochi Winter Games under the IOC flag, but now they will be allowed to represent their country.

The news sparked celebratory headlines and comments in the media.

"The Indian sports fraternity on Tuesday heaved a sigh of relief on the country's return to the Olympic fold," says the NDTV website.

For The Hindu, the news will bring "cheer to the sports fraternity" in India.

Athletes now hope that Mr Ramachandran will bring some much-needed changes in the way sports is run in the country.

"I think all the athletes want to see change and want to see good governance," The Tribune quotes Shiva Keshavan, India's luger at the Sochi Winter Games, as saying.

In contrast, the media is critical of cricket's future in the country after an inquiry panel on Monday indicted a top cricket team official over allegations of betting in the IPL.

The panel's report said Gurunath Meiyappan of the Chennai Super Kings passed on information to illegal bookmakers during last year's edition of the tournament.

Mr Meiyappan is the son-in-law of the Board of Control for Cricket in India chief N Srinivasan.

At least four players are also facing criminal charges over spot-fixing allegations in some matches of last year's IPL.

"It is a moment of truth for Indian cricket, and the Justice Mudgal committee [the panel appointed to probe the allegations] has presented to the Supreme Court weighty reasons to undertake a thorough cleansing of the sport," says The Hindu.

The Indian Express says this is a crisis "that threatens to cast a shadow over the nation's biggest passion".

Hoax call

Moving on to political news, nine MPs were suspended on Tuesday for the remaining four days of the current session of the lower house of parliament for disrupting proceedings.

The MPs - from the ruling Congress and the regional Telugu Desam Party - were locked in a heated debate over the federal government's decision to carve a new state out of the southern Andhra Pradesh state, The Economic Times reports.

Meanwhile, the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is due to launch its Chai pe Charcha - Discussions over tea - campaign on Tuesday, the NDTV website reports.

Narendra Modi, the BJP's candidate for PM, often talks about his "humble beginnings" as a tea vendor to connect with the voters ahead of the general elections.

He will meet people at a tea shop in the western city of Ahmedabad and the event will be broadcast in several other parts of the country, the website adds.

In some science news, India's first Mars probe mission has completed 100 days in its journey to the Red Planet, the NDTV website reports.

The orbiter is expected to reach Mars on 24 September 2014.

And finally, a hoax call caused panic at the Delhi international airport on Tuesday.

The caller had not been identified until late on Tuesday night and the location of the call had not been traced either, reports The Hindu.

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