In India, for achievements in the field of ‘Sports’ the “Arjuna Awards” are being given every year, from 1961.
However, it was decided by the Government of India to have an award higher than the “Arjuna Award” for the most outstanding performance in ‘Sports’ by individuals or a team.
And, the “Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna” Award was instituted in the year 1991-92, in the name of the former Prime Minister of India, Late. Mr.Rajiv Gandhi.
At present, the “Khel Ratna Award” is the highest honour given to eminent Indian ‘Sports Persons’ for achievement in ‘Sports’. “Khel Ratna” in Hindi, means “Gem of Sports” .
The “Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award” consists of the following:
- A Medal,
- A Scroll of Honour and
- Cash (Rs 7.5 Lakhs)
Year/Name of the Awardee /Sports Discipline
1991–92 /Viswanathan Anand/Chess
1997–98 /Sachin Tendulkar/Cricket
1999–2000 /Dhanraj Pillay/Hockey
2002–03 /Anjali Ved Pathak Bhagwat/Shooting
2005–06/Pankaj Advani/Billiards and Snooker
2008–09/Mary Kom /Boxing