PM Narendra Modi has announced to rename the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award after the Hockey legend, Major Dhyan Chand. PM Modi said he had received enormous requests for the same, and the decision was taken respecting the sentiments of citizens.
It is the highest sporting honour in the country and is awarded once a year to individuals in all sports categories.
Major Dhyan Chand Award, formerly known as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, was instituted in 1991-1992, and the chess player, Viswanathan Anand, was the first to be conferred upon with the award.
The award carries a certificate, a medallion and a cash amount of Rs 25 lakh. Major Dhyan Chand was a hockey player who played for India from 1926 to 1948.
He in international hockey had scored over 400 goals and was part of three gold-medal squads in 1928, 1932 and 1936. Major Dhyan Chand was born in Allahabad and is best known as the ‘Wizard of Hockey.’
This move to rename comes following the exemplary performance of the Indian Hockey team at the Tokyo Olympics. The men team ended the 41-year wait by clinching a bronze medal while the women team narrowly missed the medal and ended fourth.