General Studies IART AND CULTURE

Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award


Khel Ratna Award will hereby be called the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award

About Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award:

  • The Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award in Sports and Games  is the highest sporting honour of the Republic of India.
  • The award is named after Dhyan Chand (1905–79), an Indian field hockey player, widely regarded as the greatest field hockey player of all time, who scored more than 1000 goals over a career that spanned over 20 years from 1926 to 1948.
  • It is awarded annually by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
  • The recipient(s) is/are selected by a committee constituted by the Ministry and is honoured for their “spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports over a period of four years” at international level.
  • The award comprises a medallion, a certificate, and a cash prize of ₹25 lakh.
  • 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. The nominations for a given year are accepted till 30 April or last working day of April with not more than two sportspersons nominated for each sports discipline. 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.


The nominations for the award are received from all government recognised National Sports Federations, the Indian Olympic Association, the Sports Authority of India (SAI), the Sports Promotion and Control Boards, and the state and the union territory governments with not more than two eligible sportspersons nominated for each sports discipline. In case of cricket, the nominations are received from the Board of Control for Cricket in India and SAI is authorised to submit the nominations on behalf of all the de-recognised or under suspension National Sports Federations. The previous award recipients can also nominate one sportsperson for the discipline for which they themselves were awarded. The Government can nominate up to two sportspersons in deserving cases where no such nominations have been received from the nominating authorities. The nominations for a given year are accepted till 30 April or last working day of April.

About Major Dhyan Chand:

  • Major Dhyan Chand (29 August 1905 – 3 December 1979) was an Indian field hockey player widely regarded as one of the greatest in the history of the sport
  • He was known for his extraordinary goal-scoring feats, in addition to earning three Olympic gold medals, in 1928, 1932 and 1936, during an era where India dominated field hockey.
  • His influence extended beyond these victories, as India won the field hockey event in seven out of eight Olympics from 1928 to 1964.
  • Popularly known as The Wizardor The Magician of hockey for his superb ball control, Chand played internationally from 1926 to 1949; he scored 570 goals in 185 matches according to his autobiography, Goal.
  • The Government of India awarded Chand India’s third highest civilian honour of Padma Bhushan in 1956.
  • His birthday, 29 August, is celebrated as National Sports Day in India every year.
    On 6 August 2021, following requests by citizens all across the nation,Prime Minister renamed the highest sporting honour in India, previously known as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratnato commemorate the legacy of “The Wizard” of Hockey.

Source: PIB

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