The Sports Authority of India has selected 734 players for its scholarship programme under the Khelo India Talent Identification Development Scheme.
A talent identification committee 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 names of the junior athletes selected.
The Khelo India scholarship programme awards scholarships for athletes to take care of their expenses including training, development, boarding and lodging and tournament exposure.
The High Powered Committee met in New Delhi and announced that a few steps would be taken to supplement the existing Khelo India program. The age verification of the selected players has been driven by the Tanner-Whitehouse 3 (TW3) test or a check of wrist bone density.
An annual stipend of Rs. 1.2 lakhs will be given to the players on a quarterly basis to meet their out of pocket expenses, treating injuries and other elements such as local travel for themselves and their parents/ family members.
Various private, State and Sports Authority of India academies have been accredited. The High Powered Committee accredited 21 non-SAI academies as well. The accredited academies will look after the training, boarding and tournament expenses of the athletes.
It was also decided that the academies will be divided into three categories. There will be a review mechanism for academies on a periodical basis. Academies that do not maintain desired standards and fulfill the performance criteria, may be de-listed.
The High Powered Committee also decided that a strong performance management system would be in place and performance be rewarded. If athletes do not fulfil the criteria, they may be weeded out from the academies.
It was also decided that athletes must report after 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.