The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India on May 24, 2021, reported that five athletes have been included in the core group of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS). Tennis player Ankita Raina, Wrestlers Sumit Malik & Seema Bisla, and Rowers Arvind Singh & Arjun Lal Jat have been included in the TOPS core group.
Financial sanctions of nearly one crore rupees were approved in the Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) meeting on May 24, 2021.
What is Target Olympic Podium Scheme?
•The Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) was launched in 2014 under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS), Government of India.
•The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) established TOPS is to aid India’s top athletes with financial assistance to win medals at the 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo Olympics and international sport events.
•The scheme provides all requisite support such as:
(i) training from top coaches at well-equipped sport institutions,
(ii) assistance to purchase sport-specific equipment,
(iii) providing support staff such as physical trainers, physiotherapists, etc,
(iv) aid athletes in participating in Paris, Tokyo, and Los Angeles Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
(v) provide out-of-pocket allowance per month
•Recent success cases of TOPS:
(i) TOPS sponsored athletes, Sakshi Malik (wrestling) and PV Sindhu (badminton) won bronze and silver medals respectively in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
(ii) TOPS Athletes won four medals, two gold, one silver, one bronze, in the 2016 Paralympic Games.
(iii) The 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast witnessed 47 out of 70 medal-winning athletes that belonged to the TOPS scheme.
Mission Olympic Cell
•The Mission Olympic Cell (MOC), a selection and review committee created under the Sports Authority of India (SAI), identifies and supports athletes selected under the TOP schemes.
•The Cell, every week, evaluates the progress of athletes. Basis their performance, the Cell recommends selection, removal, and retention of athletes, coaches, and training institutions that are eligible to receive support and funding from TOPS.