The Sports Authority of India (SAI) operates various schemes at the sub-junior, junior and senior level. They endeavor to develop sports excellence, by upgrading the skills of Indian sports persons. This huge effort involves widespread talent search and training of selected individuals, through the provision of vital inputs, such as coaching, infrastructure, equipment support, sports kit and competitive exposure. SAI is the authorized body that controls the sports sector in India.
1. The National Sports Talent Contest (NSTC) Scheme: This scheme is meant for school children within the age group of 8-14 years. The selection of children eligible for the scheme is done through a scientifically designed battery of tests. After the tests, the selected individuals are put in one of SAI's adopted schools. SAI adopts schools on the basis of sports and residential infrastructure available, and the school's reputation in sports performance. Currently, 2130 sports persons are being trained at 83 schools and 16 akharas. In addition to this, 29 upcoming akharas have been provided equipment support in the form of wrestling mats and multi-gyms. Under this scheme, coaching-related academic courses are also provided at the Netaji Subhash National Institute of Sports in Patiala, to garner good coaches.
2. The Army Boys Sports Company (ABSC) Scheme: This scheme is run by the SAI in association with Army authorities. It covers boys in the age-group of 8-14 years, who are selected from Regimental Areas and Army Lines, on the basis of various tests. These individuals are put in ABSC centres run at regimental centres of the Army, where they are provided facilities by the Army authorities. These facilities include sports equipment, kit, stipend and coaches by SAI. Currently, 702 sportspersons are being trained at 8 ABSC's.
3. The Special Area Games (SAG) Scheme: This scheme is meant for sports persons falling in the age-group of 14-21 years. Talent for the SAG is scouted from rural, tribal, coastal and other inaccessible areas, where local people are believed to have certain talents and skills that give them an advantage in a particular sport. Selected sports persons are given in-house training at various Special Area Games centres. In these centres, they are provided boarding and lodging, together with other facilities. Presently, 1378 sports persons are being trained at 16 SAG centres, and 2 associate centres in the country.
4. The SAI Training Centres (STC) Scheme: This scheme is the back bone of SAI's objective of spotting and fostering talented sports persons. Under this scheme, sports persons in the age group of 14-21 years are selected, and trained in various STC's. At such centres, they are given in-house training, boarding and lodging, along with other facilities. At present, SAI has 230 SAI Training Centres spread all across the country. As a result of the efforts of SAI, the number of trainees in their training centres has increased from 10,000 at the beginning of the Xth Plan, to around 13,000 at the end of the Plan.