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Home Latest india news PM Modi renames Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award as Major Dhyan Chand...

PM Modi renames Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award

The development comes a day after the Indian men’s hockey team made the nation proud with their performance at the Toyko Olympics.

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the highest sporting honour of India, will now be known as the  Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, announced Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday. 

The prime minister said that the decision was taken based on the numerous requests from citizens. He tweeted that he has been getting many requests from citizens across India to name the Khel Ratna Award after Major Dhyan Chand. I thank them for their views. Respecting their sentiment, the Khel Ratna Award will hereby be called the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, he wrote.

Modi also said that Major Dhyan Chand was among the nation’s foremost sportspersons who brought honour and pride to India. It is fitting that our nation’s highest sporting honour will be named after him, he wrote in another tweet.

The development comes a day after the Indian men’s hockey team made the nation proud with their performance at the Toyko Olympics. The men’s team earned the bronze medal defeating Germany thereby ending their 41-year-wait for their first-ever Olympic win since 1980 Moscow. 

However, the Indian women’s hockey team today lost a bronze medal match to Great Britain at the ongoing Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

Major Dhyan Chand was a field hockey player who played international hockey from 1926 to 1949, scoring over 400 goals in his career. He was part of the Olympic team that won gold medals in 1928, 1932 and 1936.

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The Khel Ratna Award was instituted in 1991-1992 and the first recipient was Chess legend, Viswanathan Anand. Among others honoured with the prestigious award were Dhanraj Pillay, Pullela Gopichand, Abhinav Bindra, Leander Paes, Sachin Tendulkar, Anju Bobby George, Mary Kom and Rani Rampal in 2020.

Besides it, the country’s highest award for lifetime achievement in sports is known as the Dhyan Chand Award, which was instituted in 2002. Meanwhile, the now rechristened Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award will come with a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh.

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