AIR Spotlight is an insightful program featured daily on the All India Radio Newsonair. In this program, many eminent panellists discuss issues of importance which can be quite helpful in the IAS exam preparation. In this article, the discussion is on government initiatives on sports and the youth of the country.
The youth form the backbone of all nations. They have to balance looking ahead and forging the future by renewing and refreshing the current state of affairs of society, leadership, innovation, skills, sports, startups, etc. with imbibing good values that make up our culture.
Following are some schemes by the government to encourage Youth to actively participate in sports and come up with new Startup ideas:
Khelo India Programme
- The Khelo India Program is a national program to develop sports in India. It was launched in Delhi in 2018 by the then Minister of Sports, Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. This program was created to improve sports culture in India.
- Aiming to establish sport as an instrument for national development, economic development, community development and individual development.
- The Union Cabinet approved the execution of the revamped ‘Khelo India’ program by consolidating the ‘Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan’ (formerly called the ‘Yuva Krida & Khel Abhiyan’), the ‘Urban Sports Infrastructure Scheme’ and the ‘National Sports Talent Search System Programme’. The program strives to promote “Sports for Excellence” as well as “Sports for All”.
- The Union budget reduced the allocation for sports by ₹230.78 crores for the financial year 2021-22. The ‘Khelo India’ scheme has taken a hit of ₹232.71 crores, with its allocation slashed to ₹657.71 from ₹890.42 crores.
Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS)
- The Target Olympic Podium Scheme or TOPS was launched in 2014 under the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYAS), GOI.
- The main objective of the program is to provide financial and other assistance to athletes in their pursuit of medals at the Olympic Games and other international sporting events.
- As part of this program, athletes are individually trained in modern and well-equipped sports facilities and by the best coaches.
- Athletes are also helped with the purchase of specific sports equipment.
- They will also be given assistance to participate in international sporting events and in hiring support staff such as physiotherapists, sports psychologists, physical trainers, etc.
- As an incentive, selected athletes also receive a lump sum for expenses of a specified amount.
- Certain sporting events have been categorized as high priority areas, such as Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Hockey, Shooting and Wrestling.
- A committee decides which athletes are eligible for TOPS performance.
- In 2020, the government also launched Junior TOPS, a similar program to attract Olympic champions in 2028 targeting children of ages 10-12.
- All the needs of these children are taken care of and they are trained to win medals for the country.
Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS)
- The program aims to financially support startups in the early stages of their project. It has been approved for a period of four years from 2021-22.
- A Rs. 945 Crore corpus will be divided over the next 4 years to be given to eligible startups through incubators eligible to provide seed funding across India.
- The Startup India Seed Fund Scheme is expected to assist over 3600 startups in the country.
- This program is in line with the Atmanirbhar Bharat programme.
- Seed Campaign launched in May 2020 – Fund for an eligible startup by the incubator will be paid as follows:
- Up to Rs. 20 lakhs as a grant for proof of concept validation, prototype development or product testing.
- Up to Rs. 50 lakhs in investments for market entry, trading or topping through convertible bonds or debt instruments or debt-linked instruments.
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