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Indian Sports Outstanding Achievers

National Sports Awards are given every year to recognize and reward excellence in sports. This year top performers like Tokyo Olympic Gold Medalist Neeraj Chopra, women cricketer Mithali Raj, football player Sunil Chhetri and hockey player Sreejesh P R and others were recognized.

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, presented the Sports and Adventure Awards 2021. National Sports Awards 2021 were given on November 13 at Rashtrapati Bhavan. This year, 12 sportspersons, including Mithali Raj, Manpreet Singh, Neeraj Chopra, Lovlina Borgohain and Sunil Chhetri, were conferred with Khel Ratna Award. India’s men’s hockey team, who scripted history by winning a bronze medal in the recent Tokyo 2020 Olympics, were given Arjuna Award. Many nominations were received for these awards this year, which were considered by the Selection Committee headed by Justice ( Retd. ) Mukundakam Sharma (former Judge of Supreme Court), consisting of members from eminent sportspersons and persons having experience in sports journalism & sports administrator etc. The awards category includes Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Awards – 2 0 2 1 , Dronacharya Awards-2021, Arjuna Awards-2021, Dhyan Chand Awards-2021, Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar-2021, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy-2021 and Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards-2020. Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award 2021 was given to 12 Sportspersons, and 35 Sportspersons received Arjuna Awards for outstanding performance in sports and games 2021.

Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award (formerly Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award), instituted in 1991-92, is given for the most spectacular and
outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over four years immediately preceding the year during which award is to be given. The Awardee is given a medal, ceremonial dress, certificate and cash prize on `25.00 lakhs. Dronacharya Awards, instituted in 1985, are given to honour eminent Coaches who have successfully trained sportspersons or teams and enabled them to achieve outstanding results in international competitions. The Awardee is given a statuette of Guru Dronacharya, a certificate, ceremonial dress and a cash prize of `15lakhs in Life-Time Category and `10 lakhs in Regular Category. Arjuna Awards, instituted in 1961, are given to players who have consistently exhibited good performance for the previous four years at the International level and have shown leadership qualities, sportsmanship, and a sense of discipline. The awardees are given a statuette, a certificate, ceremonial dress and a cash award of `15.00 lakhs.

Dhyan Chand Awards for Life Time Achievement in Sports an Games, instituted in 2002, are given to honour those sportspeople who have contributed to Sports by their performance and continue to promote sports even after they retire from their active sporting career. The awardees are given a statuette, a certificate, ceremonial dress and a cash award of `10.00 lakhs.

To recognize the contribution made to sports development by entities other than sportspersons and coaches, the government has instituted a
new award titled Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar from the year 2009, which has four categories, namely, (I) Identification and Nurturing of Budding/ Young Talent ( 2 ) Encouragement to Sports through Corporate Social Responsibility (3) Employment of Sportspersons and Sports Welfare Measures (4) Sports for Development. The awards consist of a citation and a trophy in each of the categories mentioned above. There is no cash award. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy, instituted as a Running Trophy in 1956-57, is awarded annually to the university, which has given the best all-round performance during the year of the award. The winner receives a replica of the Trophy and a cash award of `15.00 lakhs, which is to be utilized to develop games and sports. Maulana Abu Kalam Azad Trophy, instituted as a Running Trophy in 1956-57, is awarded annually to the university, giving the best all-around performance during the award year. The winner receives a replica of the Trophy and a cash award of `15.00 lakhs, which is to be utilized to develop games and sports.

Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards have been instituted as the highest national recognition for outstanding achievement in adventure activities on land, sea and air. A provision has also been made for a Life Time Achievement Award to persons who, besides individual excellence, have devoted themselves to the cause of promotion of adventure. The awardees are given a statuette, a certificate, ceremonial dress and a cash award of `15.00 lakhs. A cash award is given to the sportspersons for winning medals in international sports events under ‘The Special Awards to medal winners in International Sports events and their Coaches Scheme’.There is a provision of up to 5% reservation in direct recruitment in Group ‘C’ posts for meritorious sportspersons in Central Government. Recently, the government has also increased the number of sports disciplines from 43 to 63 in games. Further under the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF), special assistance is also provided for various sports promotion activities. This Ministry is implementing the scheme of ‘Pension to Meritorious Sportspersons. Under the scheme, a lifelong monthly pension is provided to medal winners of Olympic Games, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, etc. Post-retirement from active sports under the Scheme of ‘Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons’ (PDUNWFS)’, there is a provision for financial assistance sportspersons of yesteryears now living in indigent circumstances.

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