This is the most prestigious award in the field of sports in India. Viswanathan Anand (Chess) was the first recipient of the award.
About the Award
Instituted by the Government of India in 1991-92, the award is given to the most outstanding Indian sportsperson of the year. The award has been named after the late Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. In 1993-94, nobody got the award. The name Khel Ratna is a hindi word and it stands for Sports Gem.
Started with the initial cash award of Rs 500,000, the amount has been raised to Rs 750,000 from 2004-05. Besides the cash the recipient gets a medal and a scroll of honour.
Joint winners were announced on 4 occasions. In 2008-09 the award was shared by three sportsperson.
Number of Awardees By Sports
- 7 Shooting
2 Boxing, Wrestling, Weightlifting, Badminton, Billiards and Snooker, Cricket, Yachting
1 Tennis, Chess, Hockey