President Ram Nath Kovind virtually conferred the National Sports and Adventure Award 2020 on Saturday on the occasion of National Sports Day. President Kovind presented Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Arjuna Award, Dronacharya Award, Dhyan Chand Award, Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award, and Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar.
The awardees attended the ceremony from various places across the country, Bengaluru, Pune, Sonepat, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Lucknow, Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal, Hyderabad, and Itanagar.
For the first time, the National Sports and Adventure Award ceremony is being conducted virtually amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The prize money in four of the seven categories of the National Sports and Adventure Awards has been enhanced. Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju announced the enhancement on the occasion of the National Sports Day today. The prize money for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award has been increased to 25 lakh rupees from the previous amount of 7.5 lakh rupees. Arjuna Award has been enhanced to 15 lakh rupees from 5 lakh. The Dhronacharya (Lifetime) awardees, who were earlier given 5 lakh rupees will now be given 15 lakh rupees as cash prize, while Dhronacharya (Regular) will be given 10 lakh instead of 5 lakh rupees per awardee. Dhyanchand Awardees will be given 10 lakh rupees instead of 5 lakh rupees.
Speaking about the decision, Mr. Rijiju said, the prize money for the Sports Awards was last reviewed in 2008. He said these amounts should be reviewed once every 10 years at least. He added that if professionals in every field have seen an enhancement in their earnings, sportspersons should also get enhanced earnings, reported All India Radio.