In India sports awards are presented by the Government of India to athletes and sports persons for their accomplishments and outstanding performances in the various fields of sports. Initially, the Indian Government used to grant these awards to the athletes and sports persons for their excellent performances in all types of sport competitions. But, the Sports awards are given only in those events that fall under the Olympic Games, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, World Championship or the World Cup and also in Cricket. The awards are also given for the National level competitions and for Sports intended for the Physically Challenged.
Reputed and Esteemed Sports Awards in India are:
The Arjuna Awards were established by the Indian Government in 1961 for the excellent performance by the sportspersons in various events. The award holds a cash prize of INR 500,000, a bronze statue of Arjuna and a scroll. The Government has recently modified the format of the award. As per revised guidelines, a sportsperson must have a constant excellent performance for the previous three years at international level to be eligible for the award, along with extraordinary qualities like leadership, sportsmanship and a sense of discipline.
Instituted in 1985, the Dronacharya Award is presented by the Indian Government for brilliance in sports coaching. The award consists of a bronze figurine of Dronacharya, a cash price of Rupees 500,000 and a scroll of honor. Since the best sportsperson award is named Arjuna Award, it would be appropriate that the best coaching award is named Dronacharya, the Guru of Arjuna.
Dhyan Chand Award
The Dhyan Chand Award is the highest lifetime achievement award in sports and games in India and is presented by the Indian Government. Initiated in 2002, the award bears a cash prize of INR 500,000 rupees, a figurine, ceremonial dress and a scroll of honor. It is named after the renowned Indian hockey player Dhyan Chand.
Rajiv gandhi Khel Ratna
In India, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is the highest honor given for accomplishment in sports. The term "Khel Ratna" translated in Hindi literally means "sports gem". Named after the former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi, the award carries a medal, a significant cash price of Rupees 750,000 and a scroll of honour. The award was initiated in 1991-92 to offer a highest national tribute in the field of sports. The award was formulated to present the utmost honour for exceptional sporting performance, whether by an individual or a team in all sporting disciplines in a year.
Other Sports Awards in India
The Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Award is given mainly to the overall top winners in the Inter-University Tournaments. In Punjab, the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Award is given by the Government of Punjab for excellent achievement in the field of Sports. Apart from these awards there are few other special awards from the Government of India that are given to the medal winners in international sporting events. The Government also confers some cash awards.