Khel Ratna for Sindhu, Sakshi, Jitu and Dipa

Besides these, 15 Arjuna awardees, six Dronacharya awardees for excellence in coaching and three Dhyan Chand awardees for lifetime achievement in sports were also named.

Badminton star P.V. Sindhu in action during the recently concluded Rio Olympics.   -  PTI

The sports ministry on Monday confirmed the awarding of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna to Rio Olympics medalist Sakshi Malik and P.V. Sindhu along with shooter Jitu Rai and gymnast Dipa Karmakar for their exceptional performances.

The ministry had earlier cleared Rai and Dipa's names for the award with the caveat that any medalist at Rio would automatically be included in the list. Both Sakshi and Sindhu won their respective medals – bronze in wrestling and silver in badminton respectively – after the meeting of the recommendations committee last week. This will be the first time four athletes will be getting the Khel Ratna awards in the same year. Besides these, 15 Arjuna awardees, six Dronacharya awardees for excellence in coaching and three Dhyan Chand awardees for lifetime achievement in sports were also named.

The national sports awards are given every year to recognize and reward consistent excellence in sports over a period of last four years. The selection committees for both sporting and coaching awards included former Olympians, Arjuna awardees, Dronacharya awardees, Dhyan Chand awardees, sports journalists/experts/commentators and sports administrators.

Apart from a medal and a citation, the Khel Ratna awardees would receive cash prize of Rs.7.5 lakh each. Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand awardees would receive statuettes, certificates and a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each. The MAKA Trophy winner would receive a trophy, certificate and cash prize of Rs 10 lakh. Recipients of the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar would be given trophies and certificates. The awards would be presented at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on National Sports Day on August 29.

Khel Ratna: Dipa Karmakar (gymnastics), Jitu Rai (shooting), Sakshi Malik (wrestling), P.V. Sindhu (badminton).

Arjuna Award: Rajat Chauhan (archery), Lalita Babar (athletics), Sourav Kothari (cue sports), Shiva Thapa (boxing), Ajinkya Rahane (cricket), Subrata Paul (football), Rani Rampal (hockey), VR Raghunath (hockey), Apurvi Chandela (shooting), Gurpreet Singh (shooting), Soumyajit Ghosh (table tennis), Amit Kumar (wrestling), Vinesh Phogat (wrestling), Sandeep Singh Mann (para-athletics), Virender Singh (para-athletics).

Dronacharya Award: Nagapuri Ramesh (athletics), Sagar Mal Dhayal (boxing), Raj Kumar Sharma (cricket), Bisweswar Nandi (gymnastics), S. Pradeep Kumar (swimming, lifetime), Mahabir Phogat (wrestling, lifetime).

Dhyan Chand Award: Satti Geetha (athletics), Sylvanus Dung Dung (hockey), Rajendra Pralhad Shelke (rowing).

Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Purushkar: Identification and nurturing of young talent: Hockey Citizen Group, Dadar Parsee Zorostrian cricket club, Usha School of Athletics, STAIRS

Encouragement through CSR: India Infrastructure Finance Corporate Limited

Employment to sportspersons: Reserve Bank of India

Sports for development: Subroto Mukherjee Sports Education Society

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy for inter-university winner: Punjabi University, Patiala.