New Delhi: The process to pick this year's national sports awardees has been delayed because of the nation-wide lockdown to combat Covid-19 pandemic and the applications will be invited next month, a Sports Ministry official told PTI.
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. The official said the delay was inevitable considering the present circumstances.
"The ministry is yet to issue the circular for National Sports Award applications. Generally, the process should have been completed by the month of April but this year the situation is unprecedented," the official said.
"But hopefully the circular will be issued in May."
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....