Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award (2021 Updated)

Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award

Last Updated: 7 September 2021

Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, formerly known as Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, is the highest Sporting Honor of the Republic of India.

It is awarded annually by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of the Government of India. The Award was established in 1992 and Viswanathan Anand, Chess Grandmaster was the first recipient.

The recipients are selected by a Committee constituted by the Ministry and are honored for their “Spectacular And Most Outstanding Performance In The Field Of Sports Over A Period Of Four Years” at the International level.

As of 2020, the award comprises a Medallion, a Certificate, and a Cash Prize of ₹25 Lakh (US$35,000)

Interesting Facts About Khel Ratna Award


  • The Awards were always awarded in Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, India.
  • Khel Ratna Award is presented by the President of India.
  • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award was awarded from 1992 until 2021, from 2022 the award will be known as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award.
  • A total of 45 recipients have received the award by 2020.
  • In 2014 the Award Selection Committee provided suggestions to the Ministry and revised the criteria in February 2015 to consider the performance over a period of four years.
  • The Award since 6th August 2021 is named after Major Dhyan Chand (1905–79), an Indian Field Hockey Player, widely regarded as one of the Greatest Field Hockey Players of all time.
  • Major Dhyan Chand scored more than 1000 Goals over a career span of 22 years from 1926 to 1948.
  • In 2001, Sports Shooter Abhinav Bindra, then aged 18, became the youngest recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
  • Pankaj Advani is the only sportsperson to have won the award for two sports disciplines; Billiards and Snooker.
  • Usually only one Sportsperson is Awarded in a year, a few exceptions have been made (1993–1994, 2002, 2009, 2012, and 2016–2020) when multiple recipients were awarded in a year.

Points For Winning Medals During The Last 4 Years


#EventGoldSilverBronze
1Olympic Games/Paralympic Games807055
2World Championship/World Cup403020
3Asian Games302520
4Commonwealth Games252015

Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award


YearRecipientDiscipline
1991–1992Viswanathan AnandChess
1992–1993Geet SethiBilliards
1993–1994Homi MotivalaYachting
1993–1994Pushpendra Kumar GargYachting
1994–1995Karnam MalleswariWeightlifting
1995–1996Nameirakpam KunjaraniWeightlifting
1996–1997Leander PaesTennis
1997–1998Sachin TendulkarCricket
1998–1999Jyotirmoyee SikdarAthletics
1999–2000Dhanraj PillayHockey
2000–2001Pullela GopichandBadminton
2001Abhinav BindraShooting
2002K. M. BeenamolAthletics
2002Anjali BhagwatShooting
2003Anju Bobby GeorgeAthletics
2004Rajyavardhan Singh RathoreShooting
2005Pankaj AdvaniBilliards & Snooker
2006Manavjit Singh SandhuShooting
2007Mahendra Singh DhoniCricket
2008No Award~
2009Mary KomBoxing
2009Vijender SinghBoxing
2009Sushil KumarWrestling
2010Saina NehwalBadminton
2011Gagan NarangShooting
2012Vijay KumarShooting
2012Yogeshwar DuttWrestling
2013Ronjan SodhiShooting
2014No Award~
2015Sania MirzaTennis
2016P. V. SindhuBadminton
2016Dipa KarmakarGymnastics
2016Jitu RaiShooting
2016Sakshi MalikWrestling
2017Devendra JhajhariaParalympic Javelin
2017Sardara SinghHockey
2018Saikhom Mirabai ChanuWeightlifting
2018Virat KohliCricket
2019Deepa MalikParalympic Shot Put
2019Bajrang PuniaWrestling
2020Rohit SharmaCricket
2020Mariyappan ThangaveluParalympic High Jump
2020Manika BatraTable Tennis
2020Vinesh PhogatWrestling
2020Rani RampalHockey

Frequently Asked Questions


1. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award started in which year?

Answer: 1992

2. When was Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award renamed Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award?

Answer: 6th August 2021

3. Who is the first recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award?

Answer: Viswanathan Anand

4. Who is the only Sportsperson to have won the award for two sports disciplines?

Answer: Pankaj Advani (Billiards and Snooker)

5. Who is the Youngest recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award?

Answer: Abhinav Bindra (18 Years in 2001)

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