Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has established the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) with the objective of promotion of sports in general and specific sports disciplines and individual sports persons in particular for achieving excellence at the National and International level. Ministry has initiated the ‘Target Olympic Podium Scheme’ (TOP Scheme) under the NSDF. The scheme envisages identification of athletes who are potential medal winners in Olympics and providing support to them for preparation for Olympics.
As on 20th March, 2015, 45 athletes have been identified from 6 disciplines namely athletics, badminton, boxing, shooting, wrestling and sailing have been identified as potential medal winners for Olympics 2016. Around 30 more athletes are to be identified from archery and athletics.
Out of the said 45 athletes, consent via email has been sent by 37 athletes, 23 have signed the agreement and 18 have given their programs / requests for preparation for Olympics 2016. The programs received from athletes are vetted by the concerned National Sports Federation, coaches and experts. Based on the said feedback around Rs. 1 crore has already been released for 6 athletes namely Vikas Gowda (athletics), Abhinav Bindra, Heena Sidhu, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, (shooting) , Aishwarya and Varsha (sailing). Further around Rs. 88 lakhs is in the pipeline to be released shortly subject to submission of clarifications / documents by athletes from archery, shooting, wrestling and athletics.
All athletes are being contacted proactively by the Department to submit their programs for grant of financial assistance. Total estimated budget for supporting 75 athletes from TOP scheme is around Rs. 40 to 45 crores till Olympics 2016. The said support is over and above the support being provided by the department under Scheme of assistance to NSFs through SAI.