The Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports, Jitendra Singh on 3 January 2014approved criteria to be kept in view by the Selection Committee for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the country’s highest sports award, the Dronacharya Award and the Dhyan Chand Award. As per the approval, the government will now grant 90 percent weightage to medal winners of Olympics, Asian and Commonwealth Games and World Cup/World Championships held once in four years. This has been done to bring in more transparency and objectivity for conferring the National Sports Awards to avoid controversy on giving them.
Earlier, similar criteria with certain objectives were approved for conferring Arjuna Awards by Jitendra Singh.
The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports in January 2014 with the aim of streamlining the procedure for grant of the National Sports Awards circulated the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to be followed by various agencies, namely
• The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports
• Sports Authority of India (SAI)
• National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA)
• State Governments, National Sports Federations (NSFs)
• Sports Promotion and Control Boards
This was done for processing of the cases related to National Sports Awards that started from inviting nominations to constitution of Selection Committee.
As per the guidelines, the points for winning medals will be given to each eligible sportspersons for his/her performance during last 4 years exception in the case of life-time achievement award. The Selection Committee will be the decision body in equivalence of any other sports discipline/tournaments and in accordance the points will be allotted.
Certain games, which are no9t included in Olympic / Asian Games / Commonwealth Games disciplines, like cricket and indigenous games, the consideration will be taken by the Selection Committee depending upon the performances/contribution of the sportspersons/coaches.
In a particular sports discipline, names of not more than 2 Sportspersons ( 1 male and 1 female) and names of not more than 2 coaches in case of Dronacharya award with highest marks as per the criteria stated in the table above will be considered by the selection committee.
The Selection Committee also reserves the right for not recommending the name of any deserving sportsperson as per the given criteria for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna or Dhyan chand Award. In these particular cases, the committee will have to justify its stance in writing.
The recommendations of Selection Committee will be placed before the Union Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports for the final decision. Journalists/Experts/Commentators have now been included in the Selection Committees for the sports Awards.