As in the daytime there is no star in the sky warmer and brighter than the sun, likewise there is no competition greater than the Olympic Games. But is it worth the cost to host them? Take note! 

From a quadrennial celebration of the springtime of humanity to interplay between countries, the Olympic Games are a wonderful metaphor for world cooperation. The brainchild of the Greeks, this quadrennial event is put together with zeal and excitement.

There is no denying the fact that putting up something as grand as the Olympic Games requires a lot of toil, planning and capital but as they say- no pain no gain. These games are not a new fangled idea but with time the projection of this idea has changed significantly!

I was flabbergasted when I came to know that the first modern Olympics of 1896 had a total expenditure of 37, 40,000 drachmas against the 24 billion Euros spent in the London Olympics 2012. Clearly, the countries do not hesitate while spending such hefty amounts on the Olympics. But, what makes these countries spend billions to put up the Olympic village?

Hosting the Olympics might call for a lot of resources and wealth but what it gives in return is immense. The excitement, glitz and glamour of the games attract tourists from all around the world substantially in the upper income group of tourists and sport lovers. The Olympic Games transform a city into a living postcard. Comprehensive publicity is the best promotion method to showcase the host nation internationally. The 2000 Sydney Olympics has been widely known as the best example of how the mega-sports event has benefited the tourism industry.

But it isn’t just the tourist who reaps all the benefits of the Games. Hosting nation will increase transport infrastructure and provide the best transport services for tourists which will continue to render services to the local people in the long run.

Billions of outlay in developing plans provides massive job opportunities. Billions of dollars are allocated for infrastructure development, construction of the Olympics Village, hotels and new complexes. The required construction specialty gives favourable condition to modernised construction industry and creates further opportunity for oversea expansion. The construction of Olympic sites provides new structure, new technologies and new materials that will boost the level of construction area.

History is evidence of the fact that Olympic Games not only popularise the hosting city, use sports as a medium to foster global relationships, generate employment but to my surprise it also fosters trade liberalisation.

In July 2001, Beijing was awarded the right to host the Games. Just two months later, China successfully concluded negotiations with WTO, thus formalising its commitment to trade liberalisation. Nor is this a one-off coincidence. Rome was awarded the 1960 games in 1955, the same year Italy started to move towards currency convertibility that led two years later to the Treaty of Rome.

However, the budgetary allocations incurred to host the games is beyond anyone’s imagination. An Oxford study established that average cost overruns in hosting the Games are 179 per cent in real terms: that’s significantly higher than overruns for other types of mega-projects. Montreal was the worst delinquent: its cost overruns were about 800 per cent! And in the case of the Delhi Commonwealth Games, the overruns were 36 times the budgeted cost: $9.2 billion, against an estimated $250 million.

With India sending 118 sportsman to the games this year, it is the inspiration of the Olympic Games that drives people not only to compete but to improve, and to bring lasting benefits to the city and to continue the legacy of the oldest yet the young games. Will India be able to host Olympics someday? Time will tell.

Feature Image Credits: rio2016.com.

Riya Chibber
[email protected]

Exam results are generally not what most students look forward to. So when Delhi University decides to go ahead and make the experience even more harrowing, you can’t really blame them for being disgruntled.

Most of them would agree without question that the revaluation system is a major pain. Under the system, if there’s a difference of 5% between the original and the revaluated marks, no change would be made. In case the difference in between 5-10%, average of the two marks would be awarded. And if it is more than 10%, the paper would be reexamined and the average of the two highest marks amongst them would be awarded.

Something that appears to be troubling most students is the methodology of awarding marks within this system itself. The question that’s on their minds, put simply, would read something like this- why am I being awarded averaged marks instead of what I actually secured? “Why am I being penalized for the examiner’s mistake and why am I being charged for it? This is rubbish”, says Rudrakshica, a 3rd year economics student.

The whole system, however, now seems like a money making gimmick. Not only has the revaluation fee sky rocketed from Rs. 250 per paper a few  years ago to Rs. 1000 per paper in the present day, it also seems as if the papers have been deliberately marked less to possibly increase revenue from this source. Take for instance, the curious case of notoriously low marks in one of the Economics 2nd year papers- Indian Economic Development (IED). It is true that students were given grace marks in Microeconomics on account of the horrifying paper but that in no way justifies the enormous scaling down that has happened in IED. This has led to most of the students applying for revaluation in this paper. Taking into account the number of students currently pursuing this course in DU, the revenue that they would have generated from this is something that boggles the mind.

There is no questioning the fact that such a steep increase in revaluation fee is to deter those who give in their papers just for the sake of it. However, what they seem to forgetting is the fact that those who are genuinely facing a problem are also students and Rs. 1000 per paper might not be something that they could afford. Time to become a little more student friendly, DU?


Surya Rajappan
[email protected]