Six-time world champion boxer Mary Kom and former Indian football captain Baichung Bhutia are going to be in the 12-member selection panel that are going to decide on national sports awards for players and coaches.
The national sports Awards will be given away on 29th August, the birth anniversary of hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand which is celebrated as the National Sports Day.
A sports ministry official commented to PTI, “This year we are trying out a new idea of one selection committee for all the awards. We feel too many committees are unnecessary as they only make things difficult and make controversies.”
The other who’s who members of the selection committee are, Supreme Court Justice Mukundakam Sharma and sports secretary Radhey Shyam Jhulaniya, Sports Authority of India director general Sandeep Pradhan , Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) CEO Commander Rajesh Rajagopalan, Mary Kom, Bhutia, ex-women’s cricket team captain Anjum Chopra, celebrated former long-jumper Anju Bobby George and table tennis coach Kamlesh Mehta among others.
There are also two representatives from media sector in the committee, the chief editor of Times of India group (Digital) Rajesh Kalra and renowned sports commentator Charu Sharma.
Unlike other previous editions, this committee will handpick all the winners of National sports awards- the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award, Dronacharya Award (for coaches), Dhyan Chand Award (lifetime achievement) and Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Award.
After considerable delay, the selection committee was finalized on Wednesday.
“Yes, we know we are little late in forming the committee but we have ample time in our hands to select the awardees,” the sources said.