Every year the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports announces the National Sports Awards of India. The sports fraternity’s contribution to sports is awarded by the Indian government through various national sports awards. Read here to know all about them.
The Indian government recognizes the sports community’s contributions through several national sports awards.
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports bestows the most prestigious awards each year. On August 29, National Sports Day and the anniversary of Major Dhyan Chand’s birth, the President of India bestows the honors in New Delhi’s Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The highest sporting award in the nation is the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award.
National Sports Awards
The National Sports Honors, which are a collection of six separate honors awarded to athletes, coaches, or groups for their accomplishments and contributions to the development of Indian sports, are regarded as the highest athletic accolades in India.
The Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, also known as the Khel Ratna, the Arjuna Award, the Dronacharya Award, the Major Dhyan Chand Award, the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy, also known as the MAKA Trophy, and the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar are the six main awards that makeup India’s National Sports Awards.
The Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award has been a part of the list informally since 2004 when it was included in the six National Sports Awards.
The list of awards and what they are awarded for are listed below:
- Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award: Awarded for outstanding performances in sports spanning over four years.
- Arjuna Award: Given out for consistently good performance over four years.
- Dronacharya Award: It is awarded to coaches for producing medal winners at prestigious international events.
- Major Dhyan Chand Award: Presented for good performance and contributing towards the promotion of sports.
- Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy: Given to the university for top performance in inter-university tournaments over the last year.
- Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar: Awarded to organizations and individuals for playing a role in the area of sports promotion and development over the last three years.
- Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award: To recognize outstanding achievements in the field of adventure activities or sports on land, sea, and air.
National sports awards: In Detail
The detailed description of the awards is as follows.
Khel Ratna award
The Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award replaced the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, which was created in 1991-1992, as India’s top athletic prize.
- Winners of the Khel Ratna get a medallion, a diploma, and a monetary award for their great sporting exploits during four years.
- Viswanathan Anand, a grandmaster of chess from India, received the award for the first time.
- MC Mary Kom, PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Vijender Singh, Sachin Tendulkar, and Virat Kohli are just a few of the many other champions.
- The youngest athlete to receive the Khel Ratna award is pistol shooter Abhinav Bindra, who captured the first individual gold medal for India ever in the Olympics in Beijing in 2008.
- Olympic bronze medal-winning weightlifter Karnam Malleswari was the first Indian woman to receive the Khel Ratna in 1994-95.
The Arjuna Award was established in 1961 and is named after Arjuna, the major character of the historic Indian epic Mahabharata.
Before the Khel Ratna was created, it was India’s highest athletic distinction.
- The Arjuna Award, given out for consistently excellent performance over four years, comes with a statuette of Arjuna, a diploma, and a monetary award.
- PK Banerjee, an Olympian for India in football, was one of the 20 recipients of the Arjuna Award in its first year, 1961.
- The first woman to get the Arjuna Award was the hockey player Anna Lumsden.
A Khel Ratna recipient is not eligible to be nominated for the Arjuna Award under the existing regulations. The Khel Ratna can, however, be nominated for an Arjuna winner.
The greatest accolade for coaches in sports in India is the Dronacharya Award, which was established in 1985. It is given to people who have produced medalists at important international competitions.
It’s based on the Mahabharata, where Arjuna’s mentor or coach was Dronacharya.
- A bronze statue of Dronacharya, a certificate, and cash are given to the winners.
- Among the first Dronacharya Award recipients were the wrestling coach Bhalchandra Bhaskar Bhagwat, the boxing coach Om Prakash Bharadwaj, and the famed athletics coach OM Nambiar, who is credited with shaping the career of Indian sprint queen PT Usha.
- Renu Kohli, an athletics coach, became the first woman to receive the Dronacharya Award in 2002.
- The Dronacharya Award is granted for contributions made during a lifetime as well as more recent achievements.
Major Dhyan Chand Award
The Major Dhyan Chand Award, which is also named after India’s hockey wizard Dhyan Chand, is the country’s highest prize for career accomplishments in sports.
- Since 2002, the winners have received a Dhyan Chand statuette, a certificate, and financial rewards for their outstanding performance and individual contributions to the development of sports.
- The inaugural winners of the Major Dhyan Chand Award were the Olympian boxer Shahuraj Birajdar, a member of the Indian men’s hockey team Ashok Diwan, and the distinguished player and coach Aparna Ghosh of the Indian women’s basketball team.
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy
The Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy, often known as the MAKA Trophy, was established in 1956-1957 and is the oldest National Sports Award in India.
- The Abul Kalam Azad Award, which honors an Indian independence fighter and the nation’s first minister of education, is granted to a university for excelling in inter-university competitions throughout the previous calendar year.
- Bombay University won the first prize, but since then, Amritsar, Punjab’s Guru Nanak Dev University has dominated the winners’ list, taking home 22 of the 64 prizes given out.
- The prize includes a revolving MAKA Trophy that is awarded annually to the winner as well as cash.
Rahstriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar
The Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar, given to organizations or corporations (both private and public) and people for their contributions to the growth and promotion of sports during the previous three years, has been a constant on the list of National Sports Awards since 2009.
- The award is known as the National Sports Promotion Award in English from Hindi.
- The selection of nominees is divided into four categories: sports for development, corporate social responsibility initiatives to promote sports, hiring of athletes, and identifying and developing new talent.
- Each category’s winners receive a trophy and a citation. A single category may have more than one winner in a given year.
Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award
The first two people to climb Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, were the Indian mountaineer Tenzing Norgay of Nepali descent and the New Zealand mountaineer Edmund Hillary.
- The Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award, which was created in 1994 to honor Norgay, aims to acknowledge exceptional accomplishments in the world of adventure sports on land, water, and the air.
- Mountaineering, skydiving, open-water swimming, and sailing are among the activities taken into consideration.
- Tenzing Norgay National Adventure honors, which are presented alongside the six main national honors since 2004, are the equivalent of the Arjuna Award in the adventure sports world.
- Achievements in adventure sports were also recognized with the Arjuna Award before the award’s establishment.
- Each year, the prize is often split into four categories: land adventure, water (sea) adventure, air adventure, and lifetime achievement.
Q) Consider the following pairs about sports awards (2023):
- Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award: For the most spectacular and outstanding performance by a sportsperson over the last four years
- Arjuna Award: For the lifetime achievement by a sportsperson
- Dronocharya Award: To honor eminent coaches who have successfully trained sportspersons or teams
- Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar: To recognize the contribution made by sportspersons even after their retirement
How many of the above pairs are correctly matched?
- Only one
- Only two
- All three
- All four
-Article by Swathi Satish