Before you read the list of Dronacharya Award Recipients, let’s have a quick intro about this Award.
The Dronacharya Award is the Sports Coaching Honor of the Republic of India awarded to Outstanding Coaches for their mentoring in Sports and Games.
The award is named after Drona, often referred to as “Dronacharya” or “Guru Drona”, a character from the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata of ancient India. He was the master of advanced military warfare and was appointed as the royal preceptor to the Kaurava and the Pandava princes for their training in military arts and astras (Divine weapons).
Dronacharya Award is awarded annually by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The Recipients of the award are selected by a committee constituted by the Ministry and are honored to have done “Outstanding and Meritorious work on a Consistent Basis and enabled Sportspersons to excel in International Events” over a period of four years.
The first Dronacharya Award was instituted in 1985 & given only to the disciplines included in the events like Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, World Championship, and World Cup along with Cricket, Indigenous Games, and Parasports.
Interesting Facts About Dronacharya Award
Two awards are designated for this award, one Normal and the other Lifetime. Lifetime Recipients are those whose contribution in coaching where the achievements in producing “Outstanding Sportspersons” over a period of 20 years or more are considered.
The nominations for a given year are accepted till 30 April or last working day of April. A ten-member committee evaluates the nominations and later submits their recommendations to the Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports for further approval.
The Award comprises a Bronze Statuette of Dronacharya, a Certificate, Ceremonial Dress, and a Cash Prize of ₹15 lakh (US$20,000).
The first recipients of the award were Bhalchandra Bhaskar Bhagwat (Wrestling), Om Prakash Bhardwaj (Boxing), and O. M. Nambiar (Athletics), who were honoured in 1985.
Usually conferred upon not more than five coaches in a year, a few exceptions have been made (2012 and 2016 to 2021) when more recipients were awarded in a year.
The previous award recipients of Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award, Dronacharya Award, and Dhyan Chand Award can also nominate one coach for the discipline for which they themselves were awarded.
For a given discipline, not more than two coaches, one Male and one Female, are given highest marks.
The Selection Committee may not recommend the award to the coach with the highest marks across disciplines but can only recommend the recipient of the highest aggregate marks in a particular sports discipline.
Points given to Coach for Winning Medals by their Trainee during the last Four Years
Olympic Games/Paralympic Games
World Championship/World Cup
“§” Indicates Para Sport “#” Indicates A Posthumous Honour “LR” Indicates Lifetime Recipients