New Criteria for National Sports Awards (Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand awards)

In order to bring more transparency and objectivity in the process for conferring the National Sports Awards, the Union Sports Ministry has approved a set of rules to select candidates for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand awards. 
As per the new criteria for National sports awards:

  • 90% weightage to medal winners of various international championships and sports events of disciplines covered in Olympics ( Summer, Winter and Paralympics), Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.
  • 10% weightage will be given to the marks awarded by the selection committee for assessment of the eligible sportspersons keeping in view factors like profile and standard of the sports events in which he or she has won medals and qualities viz. leadership, sportsmanship, team spirit, fair play, sense of discipline, etc.
  • Except for lifetime achievement awards, points for winning medals will be given to each eligible sportsperson for his/her performance during the last four years.
  • Medal winners in the Olympics and Paralympics will automatically be considered for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna or Arjuna awards (depending on the type of medal won).
  • Reserved 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.
  • For cricket and indigenous games (not included in Olympic / Asian Games / Commonwealth Games disciplines), the selection committee will recommend the number of awards (not exceeding two).
  • 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 will be considered.
  • Sports journalists, experts and commentators are included in the selection committees.

The salient features of the newly introduced criteria for Sports Awards are as follows :-

S.No:CriteriaRajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award for most outstanding performance Dronacharya Award for Outstanding Coaches in Sports

Dhyan chand Award for life time achievement in Sports


Weightage for the medals won in Olympic Games (Summer, Winter and Paralympics), Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and World Cup / World Championships held once in 4 years.





Weightage  to the marks given by the Selection Committee for assessment of the eligible sportsperson / coach keeping in view factors like profile and standard of sports event in which medal has been won





No. of awards to be given normally in a year

1 award


(out of 5, 2 to be given for lifetime contribution in coaching)


* medals won by sportspersons trained by the coach under consideration for the award. Marking criteria will not apply for the 2 awards to be given for lifetime contribution in coaching. Selection committee will give its recommendations for such two coaches taking into consideration the contribution made by them over a period of 20 years or more in terms of  producing outstanding sports-persons.

  • **  includes marks for assessment for contribution made for promotion of sports after retirement for active Sports career and for qualities like sportsmanship, leadership, and sense of discipline.
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