History of Arjuna Awards

Before Khel Ratna, Arjuna Awards was the most prestigious award for a sports person in India. Instituted in 1961, the award acknowledges the outstanding performances of Indian sports persons.

About Arjuna Awards
Named after Arjun, the Pandava Brother of Mahabharata fame, who defeated a huge army of Kauravas in the battle against evil, Arjuna Awards is conferred to many sportsperson from different sports in India.

List of Arjuna Awardees

Prize carries a bronze statuette of Arjun, a scroll and Rs 500,000.

According to the revised rules, to be eligible a Sportsperson should be a consistent good performer for previous three years at the international level. From 2001 the award is conferred on sportsperson who come under any of these three categories:
1. Olympic Games / Asian Games / Commonwealth Games / World Cup / World Championship Disciplines and Cricket
2. Indigenous Games
3. Sports for the Physically Challenged

First Awardees of Arjuna Awards
In 1961, the first year of the award 16 sportsperson were conferred Arjuna Awards. The players are:

    Gurbachan Singh Randhawa – Athletics
    Nandu Natekar – Badminton
    Sarbjit Singh – Basketball
    L. Buddy D’ Souza – Boxing
    Manuel Aaron – Chess
    Saleem Durani – Cricket
    P. K. Banerjee – Football
    Shyam Lal – Gymnastics
    Prithipal Singh – Hockey
    Ramanathan Krishnan – Lawn Tennis
    Karni Singh – Shooting
    Jam. Bajarangi Prasad – Swimming
    J.C. Vohra – Table Tennis
    A. Palanisamy – Volleyball
    A.N. Ghosh – Weightlifting
    Hav. Udey Chanf – Wrestling

Number of Awards according to sports (Till 2016)
Total: 34 Sports

    96 Athletics
    82 Hockey
    51 Wrestling
    50 Cricket
    42 Shooting
    39 Boxing
    37 Weightlifting
    32 Badminton
    26 Swimming
    25 Volleyball, Table Tennis
    24 Football
    21 Kabaddi
    18 Basketball, Golf
    17 Chess
    16 Yachting
    15 Lawn Tennis, Archery
    12 Kho-Kho, Rowing, Squash
    9 Equestrian, Billiards & Snooker
    8 Judo, Polo
    7 Gymnastics
    6 Ball Badminton, Power lifting
    3 Wushu, Cycling, Body Building
    1 Carrom, Roller Skating 1
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One Response to “History of Arjuna Awards”

  1. Vikash Agarwal says:

    Dear Sir

    I wants to know the name of the founder members of that committee who recommended to start Arjun Award for sports persons.

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