After courting controversy during the selection of sportspersons for the National sports awards last year, the Union Sports Ministry has finalised a new set of criteria to make the selection process more transparent.
The Ministry has formulated a points-based system under which 90 per cent weightage will be given to sportspersons who have won medals in various international events in disciplines belonging to the Olympic Games (summer, winter and paralympics), Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.
Points to be awarded for performances during the past four years will be calculated as per the following format: World Championship/World Cup [once in four years] (gold: 40 points, silver: 30, bronze: 20); Asian Games (30, 25, 20); Commonwealth Games, World Championship/World Cup [biennial/annual] (25, 20, 15); Asian championship, Commonwealth championship (15, 10, 7).
For performances in any other sports event other than the above-mentioned competitions, the selection committee will decide on the points to be awarded to a sportsperson.
Ninety marks will be given to a sportsperson who gathers the highest number of points. Others will be given marks proportionately, said a Sports Ministry statement on Friday.
“10 per cent weightage will be provided to the marks given by the selection committee for assessment of the eligible sportsperson, keeping in view factors like profile and standard of the sports events in which he or she has won medals and qualities like leadership, sportsmanship, team spirit, fair play and sense of discipline.”
According to the new criteria, 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).
For cricket and indigenous games, which are not included in the Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, the selection committee will recommend the number of awards (not exceeding two).
The Ministry has made it clear that in normal course “not more than one award will be given in each discipline in a particular year, subject to deserving sportspersons being available. Adequate representation would be insured for the physically challenged and women.” However, “the principle of one award per discipline will not be applicable in case of team sports and across gender.” In a particular discipline, not more than four sportspersons (two male and two female) will be considered for the award. Keeping in view performances in elite sports events, the panel may recommend more than 15 names for Arjuna awards.