Modern FITA/Olympic Archery came to India in 1970 before the game had been chosen as part of the Olympic discipline in Munich, West Germany in 1972. Archery Association of India has come to existence on 8th August, 1973 with the objective to organize, encourage, promote and control the Sports of Archery in India and to provide ancillary facilities to Archers for training. Right from its inception, Archery Association of India is engaged in the upliftment of this ancient game in India.
The first National meet under FITA rules was organized in New Delhi in 1973 in which 50 Archers participated. They used bamboo Bow and Arrows made in Meghalya and West Bengal. The Bengal Archers were to the fore with their superior techniques. It took roots in India through the sincere efforts of the then Chief Executive Councilor of Delhi, Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra.
Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra and Secretary General Shri Gopesh Mehra introduced Archery in Asia and Asian Archery Federation was formed in Bangkok during the Asian Games in 1978. Shri Malhotra was elected as the first President and Shri P. N. Mukherjee as first Secretary General. India organized the maiden Asian meet in Calcutta in 1980. The game progressed in leaps and bounds until mid-80s when it received a shot in the arm with most archers acquiring modern sophisticated equipment. The taste of frequent International competitions and the interest shown in this and other games by the Sports Authority of India, a number of talented and promising archers emerged on the scene drawn mainly from the rural belt of India. Archers like Smt Krishna Ghatak, Limba Ram, Shyam Lal, Sanjeev Kumar Singh, Lalrem Sanga Changte have brought laurels for the country. They performed well in the Olympic Games at Barcelona (1992) where Limba Ram won ranking among top six archers of the world.
Archery Association of India is affiliated with the Indian Olympic Association, International Archery Federation & Asian Archery Federation having its 27 State Archery Associations and 06 other Para-Military Forces and other voluntary organizations. It is very popular in the States like W.B., Bihar, U.P Manipur, Punjab, Haryana, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Kerala, Nagaland, Maharashtra, Delhi etc. Archery has now been included in the Inter-University and Inter-School Competitions and Railway Sports Control Board, All India Police Sports Board, Indo-Tibetan Border Security Force has recently included Archery as one of the disciplines. Other Para-military forces viz. CRPF and CISF are also advised to adopt Modern Archery as their main Sports discipline and to set up Modern training facilities at their respective Centres. The natural marksmanship inculcated among the Para-military forces & other organizations will surely play a major role in improving the performance in Modern Archery also.
As per revised guidelines issued by Govt. of India, Archery has been one of the six priority sport events selected for promotion as sports in India. Archery has gained much popularity and have become interesting for the spectators who enjoy such championships and wide coverage of the same through the Media.
In order to broad base archery in India and to popularize it further Archery Association of India introduced the Indian Round event playing with bamboo bow and arrow in 1993 at New Delhi apart from holding regular FITA/Olympic Round Sub-Junior, Junior and Senior level National and State competitions.
The success of Indian Archery at International arena came in 1987 during the 5th Asian Championship held at Kolkata where Indian Men's Team comprising Limba Ram, Shyamlal and Rajat Haldar won Bronze Medal in Men's Team event.
Indian Men's Team comprising Limba Ram, Shyamlal, Skalzang Dorgi won the Team Championship defeating the reigning World Champion Korea and Limba Ram became individual Champion of the Meet. Limba Ram further equaled the World Record in 30Mtrs by scoring 357 point out of 360. Limba's performance in 6th Asian Championship raised the hope of Indians to win an Olympic Medal in 1992 Olympics at Bacelona. However, inspite of Limba Ram scoring 336 points out of 360 in 70 Mt. distance at Barcelona (2nd highest score), he failed to deliver in the initial stage in the newly introduced Olympic Round.
Fresh attempts were made to get berth in the Atlanta Olympics 1996 and again inspite of doing extremely well in the preliminary qualification round. Indian Archers failed in the initial 1/32 round. However Lalrem Sanga could reach upto 1/16.
Indian Team of S/Shri Satyadev Prasad, Tarundeep Rai, Vishwas & Majhi Sawaiyan won the Silver Medal in the Olympic Round Team event in last Asian Archery Championship held at Yangon, Myanmar from 2nd to 10th November, 2003.
The Indian Men and Women showed excellent performance in the World Championship held in New York in July 2003 where India along with two other Countries, viz. Korea and Ukraine could qualify to field both Men and Women Teams in the Athens -Olympic Games-2004. Dola Banerjee became the first Indian women Archer to qualify for the Olympics. However, Satyadev Prasad narrowly missed the Olympic Medal when he lost to the Korea who ultimately won the Olympic Gold Medal in Athens.
The Juniors have also shown their excellence during the 8th World Junior Archery Championship held in U.K in July 2004 where the Junior Men Team won the Team Silver Medal.
Miss Dola Banerjee became the first Indian Archer to win an Individual Gold Medal and the Indian Women Team comprising Miss Dola Banerjee, Miss Reena Kumari and Miss Ranu won the Team Silver Medal in the European Grand Prix Archery Tournament held at Antalya, Turkey from 4th to 8th May, 2005.
Above all, Indian Mens Archery team comprising Tarundeep Rai, Jayanta Talukdar, Goutam Singh and Robin Hansda won Silver Medal and Indian Women Team ranked 4th in the recently concluded World Archery Championship in Madrid, Spain held from 20th to 26th June, 2005.
The Indian Seniors both in Recurve and compound are consistently winning Asian Medals. India also won the Asia Cup Archery Championship, Junior Asian Archery Championship, Commonwealth Archery Championship. Our Archers has equaled the World record in individual performance. However, India is yet to win an Archery Medal in the Olympics. Our Archers, namely, Mr.Satyadev Prasad, Mr.Tarundeep Rai, Mr.Majhi Sawaiyan, Mr. Robin Hansda, Mr.Goutam Singh, Mr.Viswash, Mr.Harish Kerai, Mr.Mangal Singh; Ms.Dola Banerjee, Ms.Chekrovolu Swuro, Ms.Reena Kumari, Ms.Sumangla, Ms.Bhagyabati Chanu(Seniors) and Mr.Jayanta Talukdar, Ravindar, Rahul Banerjee, Prabhat Kandir, Luxmi Rani Majhi, Sushma, Ranu and Runu Swargiary(Juniors) have shown their best performance in recent International meets and generated fresh hopes and aspirations in the game and a large number of sportsmen are now drawn towards it. It is due to the sustained efforts of the Association that India has its own place in the game of Archery in International arena. Archery has now gained much popularity and become interesting for the spectators who enjoy such championships and wide coverage of the same through the Media.
In order to provide International Competition exposure to Indian Archers, Archery Association of India endeavours to host Asian and Commonwealth Archery Championships in India. Archery Association of India has successfully conducted the following International Archery Championships in India :-
2nd Commonwealth Archery Championship - 2006 (Jamshedpur)
14th Asian Archery Championship - 2005 (New Delhi)
1st Junior Asian Archery Championship - 2003 (Jamshedpur)
3rd Round Asian Archery Championship - 2000 (New Delhi)
1st Commonwealth Archery Championship & Federation Cup Intl. Championship - 1995 (New Delhi)
Federation Cup Intl. Archery Championship - 1989 (New Delhi)
5th Asian Archery Championship - 1988 (Kolkata)
1st Asian Archery Championship - 1980 (Kolkata)