India Sports

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is considered to be the highest recognition in the world of sports in India. The phrase "Khel Ratna" means "sports prodigy." The award is christened after the name of late prime minister of India Rajiv Gandhi. The prestigious sports award includes a scroll of honor, a medal and huge cash prize of 7.5 lakh Indian rupees. Initiated in the year 1991, after the demise of the youngest former prime minister of India, the Khel Ratna Award is considered to be more prestigious than the Arjuna Award. It aims to honor outstanding athletes in various sports categories.

The first awardee of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award was Vishwanathan Anand, the world chess champion and the last awardees includes Yogeshwer Dutt and Vijay Kumar.

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award is restricted to only one award, so it cannot be awarded to more than one person in a year; however team events are exceptions so in case the team receives the Award, then all the team members would receive the award. In case the Selection Committee is not able to decide the deserving candidate for a specific year, the award may be canceled for that particular year.

The cash prize associated with the Award is exempted from income tax for a year. The cash prize is divided among the team members in case the awardee for a particular year is a team instead of an individual. A blazer, a tie/scarf and reimbursement of travel allowances are part of the benefits offered by the Sports Ministry to the awardees. The cash prize can be in any form chosen by the government such as hard cash, in units or even saving certificates.

This award is not provided for those games, which are not included in Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, and Olympics. The aim behind the award is to honor the sportsmen and to help them live with dignity and pride and to motivate them to excel at the international sports events. It also aims to popularize sports culture in the country.

Nomination of Award

It is expected that the Sports Ministry receives the nomination on or before 31st of May every year. The applications received after the due date will not be considered for the award for that specific year.

The parties which are allowed to send the nominations to the Ministry of Sports for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award include, Sports Authority of India, members of parliament, state governments, and national sports federations.

The Ministry Of Sports accepts the proposals only on prescribed proforma and they only consider fully completed applications. After the receipt of the application forms, they are sent to Sports Authority of India and National Sports Federation for verification purposes. However, the applications are subject to further investigations and verification by the ministry to validate the achievements claimed in the application forms.

A committee of distinguished sportspersons and administrators is formed by the Ministry, to evaluate the applications and to arrive at a consensus to decide the recipient of the award and that is the reason once the committee takes a decision, it can not be challenged legally.

This Award is completely separate and is given in addition to the other awards given by the Ministry. This Award can't be given more than once during the lifetime of a sportsperson. Canvassing is strictly discouraged by the government and it leads to getting debarred from any further consideration.

If the government decides to honor someone with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award after he passes away, there is a provision to provide it posthumously. In that case, all the prizes accompanying the Award including the cash prize will go to the legal inheritors of the diseased sportsperson. The government reserves the right of annulment, cancellation or withdrawal of the Award. It also reserves the right to restore the canceled Award.

Last Updated on 09/11/2012