The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on 23 February 2015 revised the National Sports Awards Schemes. The ministry revamped the Schemes of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Arjuna Award, Dhyan Chand Award and Dronacharya Awards.
Amendments made in Arjuna Award scheme
• Selection Committee for Arjuna Award will now be headed by the Retired Judge of Supreme Court/High Court.
• A sportsperson of eminence or sports administrator or a sports expert belonging to Para sports will be a member in Selection Committee for Arjuna Awards.
• Not more than one sportsperson of eminence or a coach from a particular sports discipline shall be a member of the Selection Committee to avoid any bias in favour of a particular discipline.
• Nomination agencies are expected to send nominations of most deserving sportspersons and coaches irrespective of whether sportspersons/coaches have applied to them for awards.
Amendments in other National Sports Awards Schemes
• For Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna Awards and Dronacharya Awards, the weightage for performance in sports events has been reduced from 90 percent to 80 percent.
• The weightage of marks to be given by the Selection Committee for factors like profile and standard of sports events has been increased from 10 percent to 20 percent. This will increase say of the Selection Committee in the process of selection.
• In the marks criteria, more marks will be given for medals won in individual events. For team events, marks will be computed taking into consideration strength of the team.
• From now onwards, the proceedings of Selection Committee will be videographed.
• Detailed internal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will be prepared to deal with nominations received from NSFs.
• Views of discipline experts will be obtained for shortlisted nominations in team games.
These amendments were based on the recommendations made in 2014 by Selection Committee for Arjuna Awards headed by Kapil Dev. Most of the suggestions were accepted by the Union Government.
When: 23 February 2015