SAI has established 23 National Centres of Excellence and 67SAI Training Centres to implement sports promotional schemes across the country

New Delhi : Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports Anurag Thakur in a written reply in Lok Sabha today said that ‘Sports’ being a State subject, the primary responsibility of promotion of sports, including identifying young sportspersons and nurturing them to excel in National and International sports events, rests with State Governments. However, the Government of India supplements the efforts of State Governments and National Sports Federations (NSFs) through its various sports promotional schemes.

Sports Authority of India (SAI), an autonomous body under the aegis of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, is implementing the following Sports Promotional Schemes across the country to identify talented sports persons and nurture them to excel at national and international competitions:

  • National Centres of Excellence (NCOE)
  • SAI Training Centre (STC)
  • Extension Centre of STC
  • National Sports Talent Contest (NSTC)

(its Sub-Schemes – Regular Schools, Indigenous Games and Martial Arts (IGMA) & Akharas)

Accordingly, SAI has established 23 NCOEs and 67 STCs to implement the above sports promotional schemes across the country. A total of 189 Centresincluding NCOEs, STCs, Extension Centres, etc. are functional for implementation of above sports promotional schemes of SAI. Total 9025 Athletes (5579 Boys & 3446 Girls) are being trained in these Centres.

Under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), the Government of India provides assistance to India’s top athletes in their preparations for Olympic and Paralympic Games. Selected athletes are supported with funding from National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) for customized training and other support not available under normal schemes of the Ministry. Out of pocket allowance (OPA) is paid Rs. 50,000/- per month to Core group athletes. Apart from OPA, entire expenditure for the training plan submitted by the sportsperson, which is considered and approved by Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) is met under TOPS. At present, 147 individual athletes & 2 hockey teams (Men and Women) as core group have been selected under the scheme. Also, Under Development Group to ensure a focused approach in India’s Olympic preparation the talent identification of 258 best sporting talents has been completed for 12 sports disciplines. TOPS Development Group athlete are receiving OPA of Rs. 25,000/- and customized training support at National Centre of Excellence (NCOE).

Apart from above, the Government has launched the Khelo India Scheme in 2017 with a mandate for identification of talent and nurturing sporting talent to attain highest levels of achievement at international levels. The Scheme covers pan India i.e. both urban and rural areas.

At present, 2967 (Male: 1494 & Girls: 1473)Khelo India Athletes have been selected on pan India basis under Khelo India Scheme.  The details of Athletes under TOPS, Khelo India and SAI Schemes selected from January, 2021 till date are as follows:


 TOPS Athletes Khelo India Athletes SAI Schemes Athletes
54 22 153



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