Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) - UPSC Govt. Schemes

Government schemes are very important for the UPSC exam. It is a vital segment of the GS paper II, polity section. Every year, questions are asked about various government schemes in the IAS exam. In this article, you can read all about the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).

Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS):- Download PDF Here

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Overview of Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS)

The Target Olympic Podium Scheme or TOPS was launched in 2014 under the aegis of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS), GOI.

  • The chief objective of the scheme is to provide financial assistance and other help to athletes in their pursuit of medals in the Olympics and other international sporting events.
  • Under this scheme, athletes and sportspersons will get customized training from top coaches at modern and well-equipped sports facilities and institutions.
  • The sportspersons are also given assistance for buying sport-specific equipment.
  • They are also provided with help in participating in international sporting events and also for the appointment of their support staff such as physiotherapists, sports psychologists, physical trainers, etc.
  • Additionally, the selected athletes and sportspersons are also given an out-of-pocket allowance of a certain sum as an incentive.
  • Certain sports 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 benefits under TOPS.
  • In 2020, the government also launched Junior TOPS, a similar scheme to produce Olympic winners in 2028 targeting children as young as 10 – 12 years.
    • Every need of these children will be taken care of and they would be provided with adequate training to enable them to win medals for the country.

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TOPS Scheme Recent Successes

The TOPS Scheme has seen successes in the form of PV Sindhu (badminton) and Sakshi Malik (wrestling), who won the silver and bronze medals respectively in the 2016 Rio Olympics. TOPS athletes also won four medals including two gold in the paralympic games of 2016. At the Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast in 2018, 47 out of the 70 medal-winning athletes were supported by the TOPS scheme.

Mission Olympic Cell (MOC)

The Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) is a body created to identify and support the athletes who are selected under the TOP scheme. MOC functions under the Sports Authority of India (SAI). The Cell focuses on the selection, exclusion, and retention of athletes, coaches, as well as the training institutes that can receive funding and support from TOPS.

The functions of the MOC are listed below:

  1. Approving specialised training programmes for selected athletes.
  2. Recommending financial disbursements for the programmes.
  3. Establishing a reporting structure for the training programmes of the athletes.
  4. Supporting, monitoring and reviewing the training programmes of the athletes.
  5. Taking decisions on the sudden needs of the athletes.
  6. Informing the athletes of their performance and requirements, among others.

Note: The SAI is the national apex sports body in India set up in 1984 to develop sports in the country.

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