The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on Wednesday extended the deadline for submitting applications for the National Sports Awards till 22 June and allowed athletes to self-nominate in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Earlier, the last date of submission was 3 June.
The ministry asked athletes to send their application in “prescribed proforma” through email on or before 22 June. “The sportspersons eligible in accordance with the award guidelines are now permitted to self-apply without the recommendation of the authorities/persons. Accordingly, the part of the application form requiring the recommendation of the prescribed authorities/persons may be left blank,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Applicants who have already submitted their applications directly or through the recommending authorities need not submit the application again,” it added. The relaxation offers a window of opportunities for those athletes who have neither been shortlisted by their national sports federations nor got the backing of previous awardees.
The awards, including the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, are given away every year on 29 August, the birth anniversary of hockey wizard Dhyan Chand, which is also celebrated as the National Sports Day.