National Sports Awards: Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awards

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awards Information

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awards: The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, officially known as Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in Sports and Games, is the highest sporting honour of the Republic of India. The award is named after Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India who served the office from 1984 to 1989. It is awarded annually by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The recipient(s) is / are selected by a committee constituted by the Ministry and is honored for their “spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports over a period of four years” at international level. As of 2017, the award comprises a medallion, a certificate, and a cash prize of ₹7.5 lakh (US$11,000).

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awards: Nominations

The nominations for the award are received from all government recognized National Sports Federations, the Indian Olympic Association, the Sports Authority of India (SAI), the Sports Promotion and Control Boards, and the state and the union territory governments with not more than two eligible sports persons nominated for each sports discipline. In case of cricket, the nominations are received from the Board of Control for Cricket in India and SAI is authorized to submit the nominations on behalf of all the de-recognized or under suspension National Sports Federations. The previous award recipients can also nominate one sportsperson for the discipline for which they themselves were awarded. The Government can nominate up to two sports persons in deserving cases where no such nominations have been received from the nominating authorities. The nominations for a given year are accepted till 30 April or last working day of April.

Selection Process:

All the received nominations are sent to SAI and National Anti-Doping Agency for the verification against the claimed achievements and doping clearance respectively. Any sportsperson who is either penalized or being enquired for usage of drugs or substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency is not eligible for the award. A committee consisting of the Joint Secretary and the Director / Deputy Secretary of Department of Sports, the Secretary and the Executive Director / Director (TEAMS) of SAI verify and validate the nominations.

The valid nominations are placed before the selection committee constituted by the Government. This twelve member committee consists of a Chairperson nominated by the Ministry, four Olympians or previous recipients of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna or Arjuna Award, three sports journalists/experts/commentators, one sports person / expert / administrator associated with parasports, one sports administrator, the Director General of SAI, and the Joint Secretary of Department of Sports, with not more than one sportsperson from a particular discipline included in the committee. When instituted in 1991–92, the award was given for the performance by a sportsperson in a year. Based on the suggestions provided by 2014 award selection committee headed by Kapil Dev, the Ministry revised the criteria in February 2015 to consider the performance over a period of four years.

The medals won in various International championships and events of the disciplines which include Summer and Winter Olympic and Paralympics Games, Asian Games, and Commonwealth Games are given 80% weightage. The remaining 20% weightage is given to the profile and standard of the events. For any other games not included in Olympic, Asian Games, and Commonwealth Games like cricket and indigenous games, the individuals performance of a sportsperson is taken into consideration. The sportsperson with maximum points is given 80 marks. Rest of the sports persons are given marks in proportion to the maximum points. For team events, marks are given as per the strength of the team. Following are the points defined for medals at the given events:

List of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award Winners

Player Name Sport Year
Viswanathan Anand Chess 1992
Geet Sethi Billiards 1993
Homi de Motivala, PK Garg Yachting 1995
Karnam Malleswari Weightlifting 1996
Kunjurani Devi, Leander Paes Weightlifting, Lawn Tennis 1997
Sachin Tendulkar Cricket 1998
Jyotirmoyee Sikandar Athletics 1999
Dhanraj Pillai Hockey 2000
Pullela Gopichand Badminton 2001
Abhinav Bindra Shooting 2002
Anjali Bhagwat, K. M. Binamol Shooting, Athletics 2003
Anju Bobby George Athletics 2004
Rajya Vardhan Singh Rathore Shooting 2005
Pankaj Advani Billiards and Snooker 2006
Manavjit Singh Sandhu Shooting 2007
Mahendra Singh Dhoni Cricket 2008
M.C. Marikom, Vijender Singh, Sushil Kumar Boxing, Boxing, Wrestling 2009
Saina Nehwal Badminton 2010
Gagan Narang Shooting 2011
Vijay Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt Shooting, Wrestling 2012
Ranjan Sodhi Shooting 2013
Sania Mirza Lawn Tennis 2015
P. V. Sindhu, Deepa Kamikar, Sakshi Malik, Jitu Rai Badminton, Gymnastics, Wrestling, Shooting 2016
Devendra Jhajaria, Sardar Singh Javelin throw, Hockey 2017
S. Mirabai Chanu, Virat Kohli Weightlifting, Cricket 2018
Bajrang Punia, Deepa Malik Wrestling, Para Athletics 2019
Rohit Sharma, Mariyappan T., Manika Batra, Vinesh, Rani Cricket, Para Athletics, Table Tennis, Wrestling, Hockey 2020
Neeraj Chopra, Ravi Kumar, Lovlina Borgohain, Sreejesh P.R, Avani Lekhara, Sumit Antil, Pramod Bhagat, Krishna Nagar, Manish Narwal, Mithali Raj, Sunil Chhetri, Manpreet Singh Athletics, Wrestling, Boxing, Hockey, Para Shooting, Para Athletics, Para Badminton, Para Badminton, Para Shooting, Cricket, Football, Hockey 2021

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