Target Olympic Podium Scheme

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Last Updated On: 04/09/2019 

About TOPS – Objective of the Scheme

The Target Olympic Podium Scheme is a flagship program of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports which is an attempt to provide assistance to India’s top athletes. The Scheme looks to add a premium to the preparations of these athletes so that they can win Olympic medals in 2020 and 2024 Olympics.Under the Scheme, the Department of Sports shall identify athletes who are potential medal winners in 2020 / 2024 Olympics.The idea of the Scheme is to also keep an eye in the future and fund a Developmental Group of Athletes who are medal prospects for the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles Games in 2028.


History of the Scheme

In order to realize India’s Olympic medal dream, at the 2016 (Rio) and 2020 (Tokyo) Olympics, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) established the Target Olympics Podium Scheme (TOPS or TOP Scheme) in September 2014. To fulfill the objective of this scheme, a committee (TOPS Elite Athletes’ Identification Committee) was constituted to identify the elite athletes who could achieve the Olympic podium. The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports is responsible for appointment of TOPS members with emphasis on ensuring representation from ‘High-Priority’ sports (Archery, Badminton, Boxing Hockey, Shooting and Wrestling). The total members of the committee are to be decided by MYAS. TOPS constitution does not stipulate minimum/maximum members for the committee. The first committee was constituted under the chairmanship of Shri. Anurag Thakur (MP) and comprised of eminent athletes (Pulella Gopichand, Rahul Dravid, Abhinav Bindra, and Manisha Malhotra) and sports administrators from Sport Authority of India (SAI) and the MYAS [DG SAI and JS (Sports)].

 Recent Success

 The TOPS sponsored athletes gained relative success at the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2018 Commonwealth Games. P V Sindhu and Sakshi Malik captured silver and bronze in Badminton and Wrestling respectively at the 2016 Rio Olympics. In the 2016 Paralympic Games, the TOPS Athletes won 2 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze demonstrating theeffectiveness of the Scheme.The recent success of the Commonwealth Games emphasized the efficacy of the Scheme. Out of the 70 athletes who won medals at the CWG, 47 of them were supported under the TOP Scheme.

Mission Olympic Cell (MOC)

The Mission Olympic Cell is a dedicated body created to assist the athletes who are selected under the TOP Scheme. The MOC is under the Chairmanship of the Director General, Sports Authority (DG, SAI). The Committee meetings are attended by representatives of respective National Sports Federations (NSFs) and Project Officers of the SAI besides other members. The idea of the MOC is to debate, discuss and decide the processes and methods so that the athlete receives best assistance. The MOC also focuses on selection, exclusion and retention of athletes, coaches, training institutes that can receive TOPS assistance. Some of the functions that the MOC are enumerated below –

(a) To approve customized programs for athletes chosen under the TOP Scheme.

(b) To recommend financial disbursement for the customized programs.

(c) To support, monitor and review progress of athletes in accordance with the training programs.

(d) To set a regular reporting structure on the athletes’ training program.

(e) To take decisions on sudden and unanticipated requirements/needs of athletes.

(f) To communicate regularly with the athletes on their progress, requirements and perspectives

(g) To engage implementation partner agencies to carry out/execute any or all the above functions.

(h) To ensure documentation/contractual obligations of beneficiaries.

(i) To deliver sponsor/commercial partner/media commitment under the NSDF TOP Scheme

Scheme of Assistance

The main objective of the Scheme is to provide added impetus towards the athlete’s preparations, over and above what is planned under the Annual Calendar of Training and Competition (ACTC). The selected athletes can seek assistance under the Scheme for the following :- –

(a) Customized training under reputed coaches at institutes having world-class facilities.

(b) Participation in international competition.

(c) Purchase of equipment.

(d) Services of support staff/personnel like Physical Trainer, Sports Psychologist, Mental Trainer and Physiotherapist etc.

(e) Any other support specific to the sport discipline.

(f) Out-of-pocket allowance of Rs. 50,000/- (Rupees fifty thousand only) a month to the athletes as an incentive

Selection and Review Committee

The Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) conducts a meeting every week in order to evaluate the proposals of the athletes. The Committee sanctions budgets based on the athlete’s requirement and the Committee’s recommendation. The Committee is also responsible for periodically conducting review of athlete’s progress and performances. Based on the Committee’s recommendation, athletes may be included, retained or excluded from the TOP Scheme. –


1. New TOPS List
2. ATHLETES IN TOPS Developmental Group

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Website of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports
Website of Tokyo 2020
Website of World Anti-Doping Agency
Website of National Anti-Doping Agency
Website of International Olympic Committee
Website of Lakshmibai National College of P hysical Education
Website of Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports Patiala
Website of Paris 2024
Website of Khelo India
Website of Fit India