The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is given in Sports and Games, is the highest sporting honor of the Republic of India. The award is named after Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India who served the office from 1984 to 1989. It is awarded annually by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
A day after the Olympic Games came to an end in Rio de Janerio, the government on Monday conferred the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2016 to Olympic medalists P.V. Sindhu and Sakshi Malik, ace gymnast Dipa Karmakar, who lost a medal by a whisker, and shooter Jitu Rai. This is for the first time the nation’s highest sporting award has been conferred on four athletes.
Dipa Karmakar’s coach, Bishweshwar Nandi, has been selected for the Dronacharya Award, along with Nagapuri Ramesh (athletics), Sagar Mal Dhayal (boxing), Raj Kumar Sharma (cricket), S. Pradeep Kumar (swimming) and Mahabir Singh (wrestling). Fifteen sportspersons will be honoured with the Arjuna Award and three with the Dhyan Chand Award.
Apart from a medal and a citation, all awardee will receive a cash prize of Rs.7.5 lakh. The Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand awardees will receive statuettes, certificates and cash prize of Rs.5 lakh each on August 29th,2016 will be distributed by President Pranab Mukherjee.