In a tweet on Friday PM Narendra Modi announced that India's highest sporting honour, Khel Ratna Award, will hereby be called the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award.
He said that he has been getting many requests from citizens across India to name the Khel Ratna Award after Major Dhyan Chand. "I thank them for their views. Major Dhyan Chand was among India’s foremost sportspersons who brought honour and pride for India. It is fitting that our nation’s highest sporting honour will be named after him," he said.
The exceptional performance of the men's and women's Hockey Team has captured the imagination of our entire nation, the prime minister said, adding that there is a renewed interest towards the sport that is emerging across the length and breadth of India.
This is a very positive sign for the coming times, he said.
Apart from the Khel Ratna award, the country’s highest award for lifetime achievement in sports is known as the Dhyan Chand Award.
Know more about Khel Ratna award:
India's highest sporting honour formerly known as Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna has now been renamed Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award. Dhyan Chand, whose birthday is celebrated as National Sports Day, won three Olympic golds for the country.
The award is given annually by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The recipient(s) is/are selected by a committee constituted by the Ministry and honoured for their "spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports over a period of four years" at international level.
As of 2020, the award comprises a medallion, a certificate, and a cash prize of ₹25 lakh (US$35,000).
The first recipient of the award was Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, who was honoured for the performance in the year 1991–92. In 2001, sport shooter Abhinav Bindra, then aged 18, became the youngest recipient of the award.
The award is usually conferred upon only one sportsperson in a year, a few exceptions have been made (1993–1994, 2002, 2009, 2012, and 2016–2020) when multiple recipients were awarded in a year. As of 2019, there have been forty-three recipients from fifteen sport disciplines.
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