Sports and games have always been seen as an integral component in all round development of human personality. Apart from being means of entertainment and physical fitness, sports have also played a great role in generation of spirit of healthy competition and bonding within the community.
• Sports Awards in India are presented by the Government of India to athletes and sports persons for their accomplishments and outstanding performances in the various sports fields.
• Initially the Indian Government used to grant these awards to the athletes and sports persons for their excellent performances in all types of sports competitions.
• Since 2001, the Sports awards are given only in those events that fall under the Olympic Games, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, World Championship or the World Cup and also in Cricket.
• The awards are also given for the National level competitions and for Sports intended for the Physically Challenged.
Promotion of Sports:
• Sports promotion is primarily the responsibility of the various National Sports Federations which are autonomous.
• The role of the Government is to create the infrastructure and promote capacity building for broad-basing sports as well as for achieving excellence in various competitive events at the national and international levels. The Department schemes are geared towards achieving these objectives.
• The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports was initially set up as the Department of Sports in 1982 at the time of organization of the IX Asian Games in New Delhi.
• Its name was changed to the Department of Youth affairs & sports during celebration of the International Youth Year, 1985.
• It became a Ministry on 27th May, 2000. Subsequently, the Ministry has been bifurcated in Deptt. of Youth Affairs and Deptt. of Sports under two separate Secretaries w.e.f. 30th April,2008.
• The specific subjects being dealt with by these two Departments are contained in the Order of the Govt. of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961.
NOTABLE SPORTS AWARDS:
• The award was instituted in 1961 to recognize outstanding achievement in National Sports.
• The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakhs, a bronze statuette of Arjuna and a scroll having certificate and a ceremonial dress.
• Over the years the scope of the award has been expanded and a large number of sportspersons who belonged to the pre-Arjuna Award era were also included in the list.
• Further the number of disciplines for which the award is given was increased to include indigenous games and the physically handicapped category.
• Not more than fifteen awards are given every year.
As per the revised guidelines, to be eligible for the award, a sportsperson should not only have had good performance consistently for the previous three years at the international level with excellence for the year for which the award is recommended, but should also have shown qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and a sense of discipline.
• Any sports person tested positive for the use of drugs banned by the international Olympic committee in any laboratory accredited by international Olympic committee will not be eligible for Arjuna award.
Dhyan Chand Award for Life Time Achievements:
• Instituted in 2002, the award is given to honour those sportsperson who have contributed to sports by their performance and continue to contribute to promotion of sports even after their retirement from active sporting career.
• The awardee is given a statuette, a certificate, ceremonial dress and a cash award of 5 Lakh. Not more than three awards are given every year.
• Constituted in 1985 to honour eminent coaches who have successfully trained sportspersons or teams and enabled them to achieve outstanding results in international competitions.
• The awardee is given a statuette of Guru Dronacharya, a certificate, ceremonial dress and a cash award of five lakh. Not more than five awards are given every year.
The award is given to those who impart coaching temporarily or permanently to the teams or players. He should also have good achievement during the three years previous to the year of award.
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award:
• The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, officially known as Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in Sports and Games, is the highest sporting honour of the Republic of India.
• Instituted in 1991-92, the award was given for the performance by a sportsperson in a year. Based on the suggestions provided by 2014 award selection committee, the Ministry revised the criteria in February 2015 to consider the performance over a period of four years.
• A twelve-member committee evaluates the performances of a sportsperson at various International events like Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Asian Games, and Commonwealth Games. The committee later submits their recommendations to the Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports for further approval.
• It carries a medal, a scroll of honour and a substantial cash component.
• The main objective of this award is to give social status and greater dignity to a sportsman in the society.
• It motives the sportsman to give their highest performance in sports events.
• This award intends to develop sports culture throughout the nation.
• The main objectives of the award are motivation and social recognition of a sports person. The award is given yearly.
The award is given to sports person who has excelled in Olympic Games, Asian Games and Common Wealth Games.
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy:
• Instituted in 1956-57, the trophy is mainly given to the top overall winners in the Inter-University Tournaments.
• This is actually a rolling trophy and a small replica of the trophy is also awarded to the University for Retention along with a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakh. Universities securing second and third positions are also provided with cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh and Rs. 3 lakh, respectively.
Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar:
The award is given with a view to recognize the contribution made to sports development by entities other than sportspersons and coaches since 2009.
It has four categories namely:
• Identification and nurturing of budding/young talent;
• Encouragement to sports through Corporate Social Responsibility;
• Employment of sprotspersons and
• Sports Welfare Measures and Sports for Development
• The award consists of a citation and a trophy in each of the above mentioned categories. There is no cash award.
Special Awards to winners in International Sports Events and their Coaches:
• Introduced in 1986 to encourage and motivate outstanding sportspersons for higher achievements and to attract the younger generation to take up sports as a career.
• Under the scheme, special awards are given to sportspersons and their coaches for winning medals in recognizing international sports events held in a year at the following rates:
Open Category Sports:
Special Olympic Sports:
• Cash award is also given to coaches who have trained the medal winners for at least 180 days immediately preceding the tournament. Award money to a coach is 50% of the award money given to the sportsperson coached. In case, there is more than one coach, the award money is distributed among them equally.