Coronavirus: Process of National Sports Awards delayed

The ministry generally invites the nominations in April while the ceremony to confer them is held on August 29 on the occasion of National Sports Day.

National Sports Awards is held on August 29 on the occasion of National Sports Day celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand.(File Photo)   -  THE HINDU ARCHIVES

The process to pick this year’s National Sports Awards has been delayed because of the nation-wide lockdown to combat  the COVID-19 pandemic and the applications will be invited next month, a Sports Ministry official said.

The ministry generally invites the nominations for the awards in April, while the ceremony to confer them is held on August 29 on the occasion of National Sports Day celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand.

But this year, the process is yet to start because of the pandemic, which has so far led to death of more than 800 people in the country and over 2 lakh globally.

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The official said the delay was inevitable considering the present circumstances.

“But hopefully the circular will be issued in May.”

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The coronavirus pandemic has brought all sporting activities to a standstill not just in the country but across the world.

“Since the last one month all the offices in the country, including government establishments and those of NSFs (National Sports Federations), have been running from home, so the delay was bound to happen,” he said.

The National Sports Awards include Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, the Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyanchand which were conferred every year by the President of India at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

The recipients are selected from a wide range of nominations by a Sports Ministry-appointed committee which includes renowned sports personalities, ministry officials and journalists.