Besides the Khel Ratna, there are some other important sports awards in india. These include the Dronacharya Award, which honours coaches for producing good athletes. The award, named after archer Arjuna from Mahabharata, comes with a bronze statuette and a cash prize.
The Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy honours the top performing university in inter-university tournaments. Bombay University claimed the first award but Guru Nanak Dev University from Amritsar, Punjab has dominated this category since 2009.
1. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award
The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, formerly known as the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna, is India’s highest sports award. It is awarded to individuals or teams for outstanding performance in international competitions over a period of four years. It was first instituted in 1991-92 to address the lack of a supreme national sporting accolade and is given in fifteen sports, including Athletics, Billiards, Basketball, Boxing, Cricket, Field Hockey, Football, Gymnastics, Swimming, Table Tennis, Wrestling, Handball, and Yoga.
A twelve-member committee evaluates a sportsperson’s performance at various international events. The recommendations of the committee are then forwarded to the Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports. Only one sportsperson is recommended for the prize per event. The nominations are made by government-recognized National Sports Federations, state and union territories, and the Indian Olympic Association. Nominations are accepted until April 30 or the last working day of the month.
It is often said that “behind every great athlete, there’s a great coach.” To honor coaches who have contributed to the success of sportspeople, the Government of India created the Dronacharya Award. This sports awards in india honors eminent coaches who have trained and enabled sportspersons to win medals at prestigious international events. The winner receives a cash prize, a scroll, and ceremonial dress. Chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand and Cueist Pankaj Advani were both recipients of this award.
2. Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award
The Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, formerly known as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, is India’s highest sporting honour and recognises sportspeople for their achievements in a year. The standard for winning this accolade has been raised over the years, with committees evaluating athletes’ performance across multiple international competitions and taking their achievements over four years into consideration.
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports sets up a committee to select the winner, and their recommendations are sent to the Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports for final approval. In the past, this award has been won by chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, boxer Vikas Thakur, badminton player HS Prannoy, and weightlifter Yogeshwar Dutta among others.
Another of the national sports awards is the Dronacharya Award, named after the Mahabharata character who trained the Kaurava and Pandava princes. It is conferred on coaches who have made a significant contribution in their respective disciplines by helping their students achieve medal-winning performances at international events over a period of four years. The award includes a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh, a bronze statuette, and ceremonial attire.
The prestigious Khel Ratna, also known as the Dhyan Chand Khel Protsahan Puraskar, is awarded to retired sportspersons who have been instrumental in helping India win accolades at the international level and bring glory to the country. The laureates receive a trophy, a medal and a certificate each and are recognised for their contributions to the development of Indian sports in an extraordinary way.
3. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy
The Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy, is a national sports award of India. It is given annually to the overall top performing university in various inter-university competitions. The trophy is named after Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, an Indian freedom fighter, politician, journalist and educationist. He was a proponent of Hindu-Muslim unity and opposed the partition of India.
MAKA was instituted in 1956-57 as a running trophy by the Ministry of Education, Government of India. It is awarded by the President of India to a university based on its performance in various inter-university competitions. This is a rolling trophy with the prize money of Rs 15 lakhs. The award is intended to encourage universities to promote competitive sports in their campuses. It also motivates them to encourage their students and teachers to participate in sporting activities.
Guru Nanak Dev University started its actual participation in inter-university tournaments in 1971-72 and since then it has won MAKA trophy 22 times. This is the highest number of times a University has won the prestigious award. The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, along with the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju has presented the coveted MAKA Trophy to Guru Nanak Dev University this year at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi. The Vice Chancellor of the University and the faculty members were present on this occasion.
4. Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar
The Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar, or National Sports Promotion Award in English, was introduced in 2009. It honors organizations—corporations and private companies as well as NGOs—that support sports through their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. The winners are awarded a citation and a trophy. The awards are divided into four categories: identification and nurturing of budding and young talent, sports for development, promotion through corporate social responsibility, and employment of sportspersons.
BHUBANESWAR: The KIIT Deemed-to-be University was recently conferred with the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan puraskar 2022, which is awarded to companies and institutions that encourage sports. The award was handed over by President Ram Nath Kovind at a ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. KIIT founder and KISS chief Dr Achyuta Samanta accepted the honour on behalf of the institution.
The Dronacharya Award, which is based on the Mahabharata story of Dronacharya, is given to coaches and mentors who have made a significant contribution to the growth of sport in India. Besides the title, this award comes with a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh and a bronze statue of the epic’s hero Arjuna. The first winners of the award were wrestler Bhalchandra Bhaskar Bhagwat, boxing coach Om Prakash Bharadwaj, and athletics trainer OM Nambiar, who was credited with shaping the careers of sprint queen PT Usha. Since then, the award has been given to a number of top athletes and sports personalities.