Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 6, 2021, announced that the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award will be now known as the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award.
- The highest honour Khel Ratna Award has been rechristened in the honour of hockey wizard Dhyan Chand following the admirable performance of both men’s and women’s hockey teams in the Tokyo Olympics.
About Major Dhyan Chand:
- Major Dhyan Chand (29 August 1905 – 3 December 1979) was an Indian field hockey player widely regarded as one of the greatest in the history of the sport.
- He was known for his extraordinary goal-scoring feats, in addition to earning three Olympic gold medals, in 1928, 1932, and 1936.
- He played International Hockey from 1926 to 1949.
- He was popularly known as The Wizard or The Magician of hockey for his superb ball control.
- He scored 570 goals in 185 matches according to his autobiography, Goal.
- The Government of India (GoI) awarded him Padma Bhushan in 1956.
- Apart from the Khel Ratna Award, India’s highest award for lifetime achievement in sports, the National Stadium in Delhi was also renamed in 2002 as Dhyan Chand National Stadium.
- His birthday, 29 August, is celebrated as National Sports Day in India every year.
About Dhyan Chand Award:
- It was instituted in 2002.
- It is an award for life-time achievements in sports.
About Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award:
- It is the highest sporting honour of India.
- It was instituted in 1991–92.
- The recipient(s) is/are honoured for their outstanding performance in the field of sports over a period of four years at the international level.
- The first recipient of the Khel Ratna Award was Chess Vishwanathan Anand.
- The other winners of the award include Sachin Tendulkar, Leander Paes, Dhanraj Pillay, Abhinav Bindra, Pullela Gopichand, Mary Kom, Arjun Bobby George, Rani Rampal.
- The highest sports honour now renamed as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award comes with a cash prize of Rs. 25 lakh.