Arjuna Award

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Arjuna Award
Civilian award for outstanding contributions to Sports (Individual/Team)
Arjun Award.jpg
Awarded forSports honour in India
Sponsored byGovernment of India
First awarded1961
Last awarded2020
Total awarded881 individuals + 1 team award
Arjuna award recipients[1]
Year Number of recipients
95(+ 1 team award)

The Arjuna Award, officially known as Arjuna Awards for Outstanding Performance in Sports and Games[2] is the sports honour of Republic of India. The award is named after Arjuna, a character from the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata of ancient India. He is one of the Pandavas, depicted as a skilled archer winning the hand of Draupadi in marriage and in the Kurukshetra War, Lord Krishna becomes his charioteer teaching him the sacred knowledge of Gita.[3] In Hindu mythology, he has been seen as a symbol of hard work, dedication and concentration.[4] It is awarded annually by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. Before the introduction of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 1991–1992, the Arjuna award was the highest sporting honour of India.[5][6] The nominations for the award are received from all government recognised National Sports Federations, the Indian Olympic Association, the Sports Authority of India (SAI), the Sports Promotion and Control Boards, the state and the union territory governments and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna, Dhyan Chand and Dronacharya awardees of the previous years. The recipients are selected by a committee constituted by the Ministry and are honoured for their "good performance in the field of sports over a period of four years" at international level and for having shown "qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and a sense of discipline." As of 2020, the award comprises "a bronze statuette of Arjuna, certificate, ceremonial dress, and a cash prize of 15 lakh (US$21,000)."[a]

Instituted in 1961 to honour the outstanding sportspersons of the country,[7] the award over the years has undergone a number of expansions, reviews and rationalizations. The award was expanded to include all the recognised disciplines in 1977, has introduced indigenous games and physically handicapped categories in 1995 and introduced a lifetime contribution category in 1995 leading to creation of a separate Dhyan Chand Award in 2002.[8][9] The latest revision in 2018 stipulates that the award is given only to the disciplines included in the events like Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, World Championship and World Cup along with Cricket, Indigenous Games, and Parasports. It also recommends giving only fifteen awards in a year, relaxing in case of excellent performance in major multi-sport events, team sports, across gender and giving away of at least one award to physically challenged category.[2]


Since the year 2001, the award is given only in disciplines falling under the following categories:

  • Olympic Games / Asian Games / Commonwealth Games / World Cup / World Championship Disciplines and Cricket
  • Indigenous Games
  • Sports for the Physically Challenged

Lists of recipients[edit]

By year[edit]

By sport[edit]

Olympic sports[edit]

Non Olympic sports[edit]


Explanatory notes[edit]

  1. ^ The cash prize was introduced in the year 1977–1978 as a scholarship of 200 (US$2.80) a month for 2 years.[10] It was revised to one time cash prize of 5,000 (US$70) in 1986,[11] to 20,000 (US$280) in 1987,[12] to 50,000 (US$700) in 1993,[13] to 1.5 lakh (US$2,100) in 1998,[14] to 3 lakh (US$4,200) in 2001,[15] to 5 lakh (US$7,000) in 2009,[16] and to 15 lakh (US$21,000) in 2020.[17]


  1. ^ "List of Arjuna Awardees (1961-2018)" (PDF). Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (India). Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Revised Scheme of Arjuna Award" (PDF). Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (India). 7 September 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  3. ^ Davis, Richard H. (26 October 2014). The Bhagavad Gita. ISBN 978-0-691-13996-8.
  4. ^ "Sports Ministry unveils new look Sports Awards" (Press release). Press Information Bureau, India. 26 August 2009. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  5. ^ Chhetri, Vivek (30 May 2015). "Team spirit at its peak for Arjuna". Telegraph India. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  6. ^ "Vishwanathan Anand gets Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award" (PDF) (Press release). Press Information Bureau, India. 18 August 1992. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  7. ^ Bhardwaj, D. K. "India in Sports: Some Fabulous Achievements". Press Information Bureau, India. Archived from the original on 13 August 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Cash awards for Arjuna winners" (PDF) (Press release). Press Information Bureau, India. 12 October 1977. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Arjuna Awards further expanded" (PDF) (Press release). Press Information Bureau, India. 24 May 1995. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  10. ^ "Two years Scholarship for winners" (PDF) (Press release). Press Information Bureau, India. 27 October 1978. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  11. ^ "Arjuna Award for 1986 to 13 Sports persons" (PDF) (Press release). Press Information Bureau, India. 12 January 1988. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  12. ^ "Value of cash prize enhanced" (PDF) (Press release). Press Information Bureau, India. 30 May 1989. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  13. ^ "Arjuna awards, Dronachrya awards for 1998 Presented" (PDF) (Press release). Press Information Bureau, India. 22 July 1993. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  14. ^ "Value of cash prize enhanced" (Press release). Press Information Bureau, India. 1 September 1998. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  15. ^ "Arjuna Awards scheme Revised" (Press release). Press Information Bureau, India. 3 April 2002. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  16. ^ "Several initiatives undertaken for transformation of sports" (Press release). Press Information Bureau, India. 22 December 2009. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  17. ^ "Enhancement of cash amount of Sports Awards 2020" (PDF). Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (India). 27 August 2020. Retrieved 22 September 2020.

External links[edit]

Official Website