Breaking away from the rituals, a single 12-member panel, consisting of veteran boxer MC Mary Kom, former women’s cricketer Anjum Chopra and football legend Bhaichung Bhutia, will decide the national sports awards for athletes and coaches. The award ceremony will be taking place on the auspicious occasion of National Sports Day, celebrated on the birth anniversary of hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand. Also Read - Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju Says Cannot 'Make A Call' On When Crowds Will Return To Stadiums
“This year we are trying out a new idea of one selection committee for all the awards. We feel too many committees are unnecessary as they only make things difficult and create controversies,” PTI quoted an insider in the sports ministry. Also Read - Mary Kom Joins Boxing Federation of India’s Interactive Session to Enlighten Young Athletes About Injury-Related Myths
The panel, which will have Sports Secretary Radhey Shyam Jhulaniya, Sports Authority of India Director General Sandeep Pradhan, Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) CEO Commander Rajesh Rajagopalan, will be led by Supreme Court judge Justice (Retd) Mukundakam Sharma. Also Read - Women's IPL in Progression Stage, T20 World Cup Win Would Have Brought Generational Shift: Anjum Chopra
Other than these non-sporting personalities, the panel will see six-time boxing world champion Mary Kom, former footbal captain Bhauchung Bhutia, ex-women’s cricket team captain Anjum Chopra, celebrated athlete Anju Boby George and table tennis coach Kamlesh Mehta. Among the 12 members, the committee will also have two media persons in the form of Chief Editor of Times Group (DIgital) Rakesh Kalra and sports commentator Charu Sharma.
Unlike the previous editions, the winners of National Sports Awards, namely the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award, Dronacharya Award for coaches, Dhyan Chand Award for lifetime achievement and Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Award, will be handpicked by the committee.
Despite being late with the formation of the committee sports ministry feels the members will have ample time to select the awardees. The first meeting among the members of the selection committee will be held in early next week and by the end of the next week the name of the winners would be announced.