New Delhi, Aug 1: In order to choose this year’s National Sports Awards winners, the veteran Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag and hockey legend Sardar Singh were included in a 12-member committee formed by the sports ministry.
The ministry, similar to last year, opted for a single selection committee to pick the awardees among both athletes and coaches and it will be headed by Retired Supreme Court Justice, Mukundakam Sharma. In the panel, there is Paralympic silver-medallist Deepa Malik, former table tennis player Monalisa Baruah Mehta, boxer Venkatesan Devarajan as well as sports commentator Manish Batavia and journalists Alok Sinha and Neeru Bhatia.
"This year too we are continuing with the idea of one selection committee for all the awards as we feel too many committees will only make things difficult and create controversies," according to a Sports Ministry source.
The panel will also have representation from the Sports Ministry, including Sports Authority of India Director General Sandip Pradhan, Joint Secretary (Sports Development) L S Singh, and Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) CEO Rajesh Rajagopalan.
"Two additional members who have been Dronacharya Awardees may be invited by the Chairperson while considering the nomination for Dronacharya Award," a sports ministry release stated. The national sports awards are given away every year on August 29, the birth anniversary of hockey icon Dhyan Chand. However, this year, the awards function might be delayed by a month or two because of the COVID-19 pandemic but a final decision on the matter is still awaited.