NEW DELHI: The Sports Authority of India (SAI) today cleared 734 athletes for a scholarship programme under Khelo India Talent Identification Development scheme, through which they will get training at government-accredited residential academies.
An annual stipend of Rs 1.2 lakh will be given to each player on a quarterly basis to meet their out of pocket expenses, treatment of injuries and other expenses. The athletes will be put up at various Khelo India accredited academies which will take care of the training, boarding and tournament expenses of the athletes.
A release from the Sports Ministry said, "For the first time ever, in order to create a strong ecosystem for nurturing talent, various private, state and SAI academies have been accredited. A High Powered Committee accredited 21 non-SAI academies as well. The plan is to develop more such academies so that young athletes can get access to the best training without having to travel long distances."
A Talent Identification Committee (TIC) was formed comprising Arjuna awardees and Dronacharya awardees to shortlist and propose the names of the beneficiaries to the High Powered Committee, which cleared the athletes after due diligence.
It said that the talent spotting and age verification of the selected players has been done using scientific and trusted method through TW3.
"The High Powered Committee also decided that a strong performance management system would be in place and performance be rewarded. If athletes are not fulfilling this criterion and coming up to the requisite standards, they may be weeded out from the academies.
"It was also decided that the academies will be divided into three categories. To encourage excellence, there will be gap analysis which will offer these academies opportunities for upgradation. At the same time, there will be a strong review mechanism for academies on a periodical basis. Academies that do not maintain desired standards and fulfill the performance criteria may be delisted," the release said.
It was also decided that athletes must report injury immediately so that timely rehabilitation can be offered. The High Powered Committee also decided to put into place a robust performance monitoring system to get the best out of everyone involved in the system.
Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore said that "transformational changes have been introduced into Indian sports".
"Catch them young is no longer a slogan but is visible in our action. We are developing a sports system that connects local potential to global podiums, that encourages every Indian to have sports as a part of their lives for entertainment, education or excellence," he said.