Four athletes get Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award

Four athletes, including Olympic silver medallist P.V. Sindhu, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, shooter Jitu Rai and Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award from President Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi on Monday.

Shuttler P.V. Sindhu receives Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award from President Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

Fifteen sportspersons were honoured with the Arjuna Award and three with the Dhyan Chand Award.

Besides, the Punjabi University of Patiala was awarded the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy 2015-16.

Apart from a medal and a citation, a Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardee will receive a cash prize of Rs.7.5 lakh. The Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand awardees will receive statuettes, certificates and cash prize of Rs.5 lakh each, said a press release from the Sports Ministry.

The Selection Committee for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and the Arjuna Award was headed by Justice S.K. Agarwal, retired Delhi High Court Judge. The Selection Committee for the Dronacharya Award and the Dhyan Chand Award was headed by M.C. Mary Kom.

PTI adds:

For the first time in the history of national sports awards, four athletes were chosen for the Khel Ratna honour, owing to the three girls’ superlative show at the Rio Olympics.

In 2009, three athletes — boxers Vijender Singh and M C Mary Kom and wrestler Sushil Kumar — were given this award together.

Long distance runner Lalita Babar, who finished a creditable 10th in the 3000m steeplechase in the Rio Games, boxer Shiva Thapa, the only third Indian to win a World Championships medal last year, and hockey players VR Raghunath and Rani Rampal were among those who received the Arjuna award.

Cricketer Ajinkya Rahane, who was also selected for the Arjuna award, missed out on the ceremony as he is in the United States with the Indian team for a Twenty20 series against the West Indies.

Teen Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, the first Indian athlete to become a world champion at any level with a gold medal at the U-20 World Championship, was also among the Arjuna winners this year.

Goalkeeper Subrata Paul was the lone footballer in the list of Arjuna awardees, which also included shooter Apurvi Chandela and wrestler Vinesh Phogat.


Vinesh received the award seated on wheelchair. She is recovering from a knee injury sustained in her second-round bout during the Rio Olympics.

Full list of awardees:

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2016

Name of awardeeDiscipline
P.V. SindhuBadminton
Sakshi MalikWrestling
Dipa KarmakarGymnastics
Jitu RaiShooting

Dronacharya Award 2016

Name of awardeeDiscipline
Nagapuri RameshAthletics
Sagar Mal DhayalBoxing
Raj Kumar SharmaCricket
Bishweshwar NandiGymnastics
S. Pradeep KumarSwimming (lifetime)
Mahabir SinghWrestling (lifetime)

Arjuna Award 2016

Name of awardeeDiscipline
Rajat ChauhanArchery
Lalita BabarAthletics
Sourav KothariBilliards and Snooker
Shiva ThapaBoxing
Ajinkya RahaneCricket
Subrata PaulFootball
V R RaghunathHockey
Gurpreet SinghShooting
Apurvi ChandelaShooting
Soumyajit GhoshTable Tennis
Vinesh PoghatWrestling
Amit KumarWrestling
Sandeep Singh MannPara-Athletics
Virender SinghWrestling (deaf)

Dhyan Chand Award 2015

Name of AwardeeDiscipline
Satti GeethaAthletics
Sylvanus Dung DungHockey
Rajendra Pralhad ShelkeRowing