CHENNAI: The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on Tuesday extended the last date for submission of applications for annual sports awards from June 3 to 22. The application in the prescribed proforma may be sent through email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Hard copies are not required to be submitted due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown. As was reported by this newspaper, the ministry through the letter also permitted sportspersons to self-apply without the recommendation of the prescribed authorities/persons for their nomination, taking into consideration the difficulties being faced by them on account of the pandemic.
Accordingly, the part of the application form requiring the recommendation of the prescribed authorities/persons may be left blank, read the ministry's order.
The process for the annual awards usually gets underway from April, but the lockdown forced the ministry to delay it by a month. The national sports awards cover multiple aspects. The awards for athletes are
Arjuna (prize money Rs 5 lakh) and Khel Ratna (prize money Rs 7.5 lakh), which is the country’s highest sporting honour.
The Droncharya award covers excellence in coaching, while the Dhyan Chand award honours lifetime contributions. For this year’s Arjuna and Khel Ratna awards, the performances from January 2016 to
December 2019 will be taken into consideration. As is always the case, athletes with dope taint will not be considered. Paralympian Deepa Malik and wrestler Bajrang Punia were jointly given the Khel Ratna
award last year.