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Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awardee

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History of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award first established in 1991-1992 is awarded to athletes to recognize their extraordinary achievement in sporting activities. The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is the Country’s top sports honor. The Khel Ratna accolade is presented by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. This prize is given yearly and was titled after Shri. Rajiv Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India who led the country from 1984 to 1989. The prize package includes a medal, a plaque, and prize money of Rs. 25 lakh.

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awardee

The recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is chosen by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports based on a parameter that encompasses the highest outstanding and remarkable accomplishment in the field of athletics and other sports during a 4-year period at the global level. The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award was established in 1991-92. Rajiv Gandhi made significant contributions to sports when he served on the Asian Games organizing committee in 1982.

How are Awardees Selected?

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award nominees come from a variety of sporting disciplines. Nominations are forwarded to SAI and the National Doping Agency for assessment of stated achievements and pharmacological clearances. A panel also verifies the nominations. The Joint Secretary and Director/Deputy Secretary of the Department of Sports, the Secretary, and the Executive Director of SAI make up this body. The Government judging panel is provided with all of the nominations.

The panel has 12 representatives, including a chairman appointed by the Government. 4 Olympic athletes or people who have received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award or Arjun Award, 3 sports journalists/experts, 1 sportsperson/expert, 1 sports administrator, the director-general of SAI, as well as the Joint Secretary of the Department of Sports, comprise the government screening panel’s 12 individuals.

All the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awardees Since 1992

NAMESports EventYears
Viswanathan AnandChess1992
Geet Sethi  Billiards1993
Homi Motivala, Pushpendra Kumar GargYachting1995
Karnam MalleswariWeightlifting1996
Kunjurani Devi and Leander Paes Weightlifting, Lawn Tennis1997
Sachin TendulkarCricket1998
Jyotirmoyee SikandarAthletics1999
Dhanraj PillaiHockey2000
Pullela Gopichand Badminton2001
Abhinav BindraShooting  2002
K. M. Binamol, Anjali BhagwatAthletics, Shooting,2003
Anju Bobby GeorgeAthletics2004
Rajya Vardhan, Singh RathoreShooting2005
Pankaj Advani Billiards and Snooker2006
Manavjit Singh SandhuShooting2007
Mahendra Singh DhoniCricket2008
M.C. Marikom, Vijender SinghBoxing, Boxing,2009
Sushil KumarWrestling2009
Saina NehwalBadminton2010
Gagan NarangShooting2011
Vijay Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt Shooting, Wrestling2012
Ranjan SodhiShooting2013
Sania Mirza Lawn Tennis2015
P. V. Sindhu, Deepa KamikarBadminton, Gymnastics,2016
Sakshi Bhai and Jitu RaiWrestling, Shooting2016
Devendra Jhajaria, Sardar Singh Javelin throw, Hockey2017
Virat Kohli, Mirabai Chanu Cricket, Weightlifting2018
Deepa Malik,wrestling,2019
Bajrang PuniaAthletics2019
Rohit SharmaCricketer2020
Mariyappan ThangaveluParalympic High Jump2020
Manika BatraTable Tennis2020
Rani RampalHockey2020

In 2021, the Khel Ratna Award was officially renamed as Major Dhyan Chand Award and was awarded to 12 sportspersons including the likes of Olympic Gold Medalist in Javelin Throw Neeraj Chopra, Cricketer Mithali Raj, Footballer Sunil Chhetri, Boxer Lovlina Borgohain 

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