New Delhi: The Rajiv Khel Ratna Award committee made an exception to the rules after a good performance by Indian athletes at the London Olympics and silver medallist Vijay Kumar and bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt will receive the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, country’s highest sporting award.
While Dutt and Kumar were nominated for the Khel Ratna by the committee headed by Rajyarvardhan Singh Rathore, 25 other athletes were named for the Arjuna Award this year Arjuna Awards committee also headed by Rathore. All the 25 athletes will get the Arjuna award.
Normally only one award of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna is given every year to an individual sportsperson. However, the Scheme provides that this condition can be relaxed in exceptional circumstances viz., winning of an Olympic medal. Like wise for the Arjuna Awards, normally not more than 15 awards are to be given in any calendar year. However, the Scheme of Arjuna Awards also provides that keeping in view the performance of Indian sportspersons in the Commonwealth, Asian Games and Olympic Games during a particular year, Arjuna Awards exceeding 15 in number may be allowed with proper justification and approval of the Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports. The Selection Committee noted that 2012 is the Olympic year and India has won 6 medals in the London Olympics, which is country’s best performance in Olympic Games, and recommended that the condition of one award in case of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and 15 awards in case of Arjuna Awards may be relaxed and the number of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award may be increased from 1 (one) to 2 (two) and Arjun Awards may be increased from 15 (fifteen) to 25 (twenty five).
National Sports Awards are given every year to recognize and reward excellence in sports. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is given for spectacular performance in the year under consideration; Arjuna Award is given for consistently outstanding performance for three consecutive years preceding the year of award.
Apart from a medal and a citation, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awardees will receive a cash prize of Rs.7.5 lakh each and Arjuna Awardees will receive statuettes, citations and cash prize of Rs.5 lakh each.
The awardees will receive their awards from His Excellency the President of India at a specially organized function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on August 29, 2012.
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award winners:
Vijay Kumar( Shooting), Yogeshwar Dutt (Wrestling)
Arjuna Award Winners:
Yuvraj Singh (Cricket), Deepika Kumari ( Archery), Bombayla Devi (Archery), Sudha Singh ( Athletics), Kavita Raut ( Athletics), Aditya Mehta (Billiards), Vikash Krishan (Boxing), P Kashyap (Badminton), Ashwini Ponappa (Boxing), Sardar Singh (Hockey), Joydeep Karmakar (Shooting), Omkar Singh (Shooting), Anuraj Singh (Shooting), Sandeep Sejwal (Swimming), Dipika Pallikal (Squash), Soniya Chanu (Weightlifting), Narsingh Yadav (Wrestling), Rajender Kumar (Wrestling), Geeta Phogat (Wrestling), Bimaljit Singh (Wushu), Deepa Malik (Parathelete), Ramkaran Singh (Paraathelete), Anoop Kumar (Kabaddi), Yashpal Singh (Judo), Samir Suhag (Polo).
By Indian Sports News Network