The discipline of sports plays a very crucial role in the mental and physical growth of a student. This is the reason; several states and national boards have made it mandatory to have an active playground before affiliating them with primary and upper primary schools designation.

At the time, when Indian athletes are making Indian sides proud with their tremendous performance abroad  Indian schools and colleges administration are also taking much needed effort  to sharpen the talents of their athletic students. Besides, the government has also been offering many sports centered facilities in which athletes’ student are being facilitated with a multiple of allowances and scholarship.

In order to transform India as a sports loving country to a sports playing country, the government has been conferring and felicitating top performing athletes across several disciplines of sports including cricket, badminton, football and other Commonwealth and Olympics games.

We have tried to bring forth some of the leading National awards in sports:

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna:

Conferred in the memoirs of Late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna is the apex rank National Sports Award in India.

The National Sports Award was started to felicitate athletes across several disciplines for their commendable performance on field. In order to boost up their morale and confidence, the Indian government confers the national award to the athletes.

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award is presented by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to the players for their extraordinary performance in sports in India.

It was until 2004, the recipient of the national award were given a cash prize of Rupees 5 lakh which was later increased to  rupees 7.5 lakh in the year 2005 which has been continuing till the date. As per the norms, along with the sum, the recipient gets a Medal of citation along with the prize sum.

It was India’s ace chess wizard Vishwanath Anand to be awarded by this coveted national sports award for the first time in 1991-92.

Later, Karnam Malleswari became the first woman to get the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Rata for weightlifting in the year 1995-96.

Here’s the full list of winners of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awards along with their disciplines, who have received this award since 1991:

1991-92 Vishwanathan Anand Chess
1992-93 Geet Sethi Billiards
1993-94 Homi Motivala Yachting
1993-94 Pushpendra Kumar Garg Yachting
1994-95 Karnam Malleswari Weightlifting
1995-96 Nameirakpam Kunjarani Weightlifting
1996-97 Leander Paes Tennis
1997-98 Sachin Tendulkar Cricket
1998-1999 Jyotirmoyee Sikdar Athletics
1999-2000 Dhanraj Pillay Hockey
2000-2001 Pullela Gopichand Badminton
2001-2002 Abhinav Bindra Shooting
2002-2003 K.M Beenamol Athletics
2002-2003 Anjali Bhagwat Shooting
2003 Anju Bobby George Athletics
2004 Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore Shooting
2005 Pankaj Advani Billiards and Snooker
2006 Manavjit Singh Sandhu Shooting
2007 Mahendra Singh Dhoni Cricket
2009 Mary Kom Boxing
2009 Vijender Singh Boxing
2009 Sushil Kumar Wrestling
2010 Saina Nehwal Badminton
2011 Gagan Narang Shooting
2012 Vijay Kumar Shooting
2012 Yogeshwar Dutt Shooting
2013 Ranjan Sodhi Shooting
2015 Sania Mirza Tennis
2016 PV Sindhu Badminton
2016 Deepa Karmakar Gymnastics
2016 Jitu Rai Shooting
2016 Sakshi Malik Wresting
2017 Devendra Jhajharia Paralympic Athletics
2017 Sardara Singh Hockey
2018 Saikhom Mirabai Chanu Weightlifting
2018 Virat Kohli Cricket

Arjuna Award:

One of the oldest national sports awards in India, Arjuna Award has been operational since 1961. The national sports award which is conferred by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, recognized extraordinary performance for four years in national and international games including Olympics, Asian Games, and CommonWealth Games.

The Word ‘Arjuna’ has been inspired from an epic archer of Indian Mythology of Mahabharat. As in the prize sum money, the chosen athletes are given a bronze statue of Arjuna and a scroll along with five lakh rupees cash prize.

Athletes like Indian Cricketer Saleem Durrani, Gurucharan Singh Randhawa (athletics), Sarabjeet Singh (Basketball). Manuel Aaron (Chess) Nandu Natekar(Badminton) and LB D’souza (boxing) were the first ones to get Arjuna Award in 1961.

Emerging as the first woman to get Arjuna Award, Meena Shah a badminton player got the prize in 1962.

There has been a long list of the recipients winning this award since 1961.

Naming a few here is a list:

2017 golf Shiv Shankar Prasad Chawrasia
2017 Hockey Somwarpet Vittalacharya Sunil
2017 Football Oinam Bembem Devi
2017 Cricket Cheteshwar Pujara
2017 Boxing LaishramDebendro Singh
2017 Basketball Prashanti Singh
2017 Athletics Varun Bhati (Para Athlete)
2017 Athletics Mariyappan Thangavelu (Para Athlete)
2017 Athletics Arokia Rajiv
2017 Athletics Khushbir Kaur
2017 Archery Vennam Jyothi Surekha
2017 Kabaddi Jasvir Singh
2017 Lawn Tennis Saketh Myneni
2017 Table Tennis Anthony Amalraj
2017 Shooting Prakash Nanjappa
2017 Wrestling Satyawart Kadian
2017 Cricket Harmanpreet Kaur
2016 Cricket Ajinkya Rahane
2016 Archery Rajath Chauhan
2016 Athletics Lalita Shivaji Babar
2016 Billiards & Snooker Sourav Kothari
2016 Boxing Shiva Thapa
2015 Weightlifting Sathish Kumar Sivalingam
2015 Rowing Sawarn Singh
2015 Kabaddi Abhilasha Shashikant Mhatre
2015 Gymnastics Dipa Karmakar
2015 Boxing Mandeep Jangra
2015 Badminton Kidambi Srikanth Nammalwar
2015 Athletics Machettira Raju Poovamma
2015 Hockey Parattu Raveendran Sreejesh
2015 Kabaddi Manjeet Chhillar
2015 Shooting Jitu Rai
2015 Archery Naib Subedar Sandeep Kumar
2015 Wrestling Bajrang Kumar
2015 Wrestling Babita Kumari
2015 Wushu Yumnam Sanathoi Devi
2015 Swimming Sharath M. Gayakwad (Paralympic Swimming)
2015 RollerSkating Anup Kumar Yama
2015 Cricket Rohit Sharma
2014 Weightlifting Renubala Chanu
2014 Shooting Heena Sidhu
2014 Rowing Saji Thomas
2014 Kabaddi Mamta Pujari
2014 Cricket Ravichandran Ashwin
2014 Athletics Tintu Luka
2014 Archery Abhishek Verma
2014 Badminton Valiyaveetil Diju
2014 Basketball Geetu Anna Jose
2014 Wrestling Sunil Kumar Rana
2014 Volleyball Tom Joseph

 Dronanacharya award

As the name suggest, Dronacharya award is conferred to all those coaches and sports mentors who have carved out jewels out of dirt. As it is universally accepted fact, that behind every successful athlete, there is always a priceless contribution of a teacher and mentor.

In order to felicitate those sports gurus and teachers, Indian Government decided to give away the “Dronacharya Award” in 1985 which is named after a famous teacher who had trained Pandavas in Indian Mythology.

Usually given to the sports gurus and teachers who have trained an award winning athletes for the country, the Dronacharya Award features a ceremonial dress and a certificate along with a cash prize of five Lakh rupees.

Here is the list of coaches who has gotten such a coveted national sports award:

Names of coaches Sport Year
N.    Lingappa Athletics 2014
Jose Jacob Rowing 2014
Poornima Mahato Archery 2013
Mahavir Singh Boxing 2013
Narinder Singh Saini Hockey 2013
K P Thomas Athletics 2013
Raj Singh Wrestling 2013
Virendra Poonia Athletics 2012
Sunil Dabas Kabaddi (Women) 2012
Yashvir Singh Wrestling 2012
Harendra Singh Hockey 2012
Satyapal Singh Para Sports(Athletics) 2012
J.S. Bhatia Athletics 2012
Bhavani Mukharjee Table Tennis 2012
B.I. Fernadez Cuban Boxing Coach-Boxing (For lifetime achievement) 2012
Inukurthi Venkateshwara Rao Boxing 2011
Devender Kumar Rathore Gymnastics 2011
Ramphal Athletics 2011
Kuntal Roy Athletics 2011
Rajinder Singh Hockey 2011
AK Kutty Athletics(For Lifetime Contribution) 2010
Captain Chandrup Wrestling (For Lifetime Contribution) 2010
Ajay Kumar Bansal Hockey 2010
Subhash Agarwal Billiards& Snooker 2010
L Ibomcha Singh Boxing 2010
Pullela Gopichand Badminton 2009
Satpal Wrestling 2009
J. Uday Kumar Kabaddi 2009
Baldev Singh Hockey 2009
Jaidev Bisht Boxing 2009
Sanjeev Kumar Singh Archery 2007
Jagdish Singh Boxing 2007
G.E. Sridharan Volleyball 2007
Jagminder Singh Wrestling 2007
R.D. Singh Athletics 2006
Damodaran Chandralal Boxing 2006
Koneru Ashok Chess 2006
Hony. Captain M Venu Boxing 2005
Balwan Singh Kabaddi 2005
Maha Singh Rao Wrestling 2005
Ismail Baig Rowing 2005
Arvind Savur Billiards& Snooker 2004
Sunita Sharma Cricket 2004
Cyrus Poncha Squash 2004
Gurcharan Singh Boxing 2004
Robert Bobby George Athletics 2003
Anoopkumar Saharan Women’s boxing 2003
Rajinder Singh Hockey 2003
Sukhchain Singh Cheema Wrestling 2003
Renu Kohli Athletics 2002
Jaswant Singh Athletics 2002
M.K. Kaushik Hockey 2002
E. Prasad Rao Kabaddi 2002
Cdr. H.D. Motivala Yachting 2002
Prof. Sunny Thomas Shooting 2001
Michael Joseph Ferreira Billiards& Snooker 2001
S.M. Arif Badminton 2000
Gudial Singh Bhangu Hockey 2000
Phadke Gopal Pushottam Kho-Kho 2000
Bhupender Dhawan Powerlifting 2000
Hansa Sharma Weightlifting 2000
Kenneth Owen Bosen Athletics 1999
Capt. Hawa Singh Boxing 1999
Ajay Kumar Sirohi Weightlifting 1999
Bahadur Singh Athletics 1998
Hargobind Singh Sandhu Athletics 1998
G.S. Sandhu Boxing 1998
Joginder Singh Saini Athletics 1997
Wilson Jones Billiards& Snooker 1996
Pal Singh Sandhu Weightlifting 1996
Karan Singh Athletics 1995
M. Shyam Sunder Rao Volleyball 1995
Ilyas Babar Athletics 1994
Syed Naeemuddin Football 1990
Ramakant Achrekar Cricket 1990
A. Ramana Rao Volleyball 1990
Gurcharan Singh Cricket 1987
Guru Hanuman Wrestling 1987
Raghunandan Vasant Gokhle Chess 1986
Desh Prem Azad Cricket 1986
O.M. Nambiar Athletics 1985
Om Prakash Bhardwaj Boxing 1985
Bhalchandra Bhaskar Bhagwat Wrestling 1985

Dhayan chand Award

Named after gem of Indian Hockey of golden era, Major Dhyanchand, The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of the Indian government has officially announced Dhyan chand Award for lifetime Achievement in sports and games. The national sports award is considered to be the highest award for lifetime achievement in the field of sports. Major Dhayanchand, after whom the award has been named, was a great hockey player who had brought golden era to Indian Hockey across the world. He had scored more than 1000 goals in his career of 20 years.

The national sports award is being given to all those athletes who have contributed a lot to the Indian sports both during their active playing session and post retirement.  The recipients of the award are given a cash sum of five lakhs along with a medal and certificate.

List of Dhyanchand Awardees of the last year

Satyadev Prasad Archery
Bharat Kumar Chetri Hockey
Bobby Aloysius Athletics
Chougale Dadu Dattatray Wrestling

Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar

The Union Ministry of Youth affairs and Sports have revised the scheme of Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar which was initially introduced in order to encourage involvement of corporate and sports promotion board in the development of sports in country.  According to the scheme, the government will recognise categories including Identification and nurturing of budding talent, Encouragement of sports through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Employment of sportsperson and sports welfare measures and Sports for Development.

List of awardees of this national sports award

JSW head Parth Jindal 2018
Jaggi Vasudev 2018
Reliance Foundation Youth Sports 2017
Subroto Mukerjee Sports Education Society 2016



The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge before you choose to consume any product or perform any exercise.


A Journalist who has been working for B2B segment for almost half a decade. He has developed a knack of writing deliberate reports on indigenous market leaders across different sectors like health, fitness and sports goods manufacturing. He developed a discrete interest in covering business reports including business events, expos, and trade fairs.

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