Virender Sehwag, Sardar Singh in 12-member selection panel for National Sports Awards

Former Indian hockey captain Sardar Singh. File

Former Indian hockey captain Sardar Singh. File   | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

Retired Supreme Court Justice Mukundakam Sharma will head the selection committee for finalising this year’s Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna and other sports awards.

The Union Sports Ministry named Virender Sehwag (cricket), Sardar Singh (hockey), Monalisa Baruah-Mehta (table tennis), V. Devarajan (boxer) and Deepa Malik (para athletics), as part of the committee.

The others are the Sports Authority of India director general Sandip Pradhan, joint secretary L.S. Singh and Cdr. Rajesh Rajagopalan of Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), besides three mediapersons — Neeru Bhatia, Alok Sinha and Manish Batavia. Two Dronacharya awardees may be invited while considering nominations for the same.

The panel will also pick names for the Dhyan Chand award, Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar (RKPP) and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad trophy.

Record number

With the ministry allowing self-application and extending the deadline during lockdown, a record number of entries have been received, with the SAI undertaking the arduous vetting process. As many as 42 people have applied for the Khel Ratna, 215 for Arjuna, 81 for Dhyan Chand, 137 for Dronacharya and around 30 institutions for the RKPP.

Meanwhile, due to the pandemic, uncertainty remains over holding of the awards function at Rashtrapati Bhawan on August 29, the National Sports Day.

While it is possible to convene a video conference of selection committee members, the hosting of a function in these troubled times seems difficult, with all the advisories pertaining to travel, quarantine and other restrictions in place.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2020 10:20:02 PM |

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