Former India opener Virender Sehwag and hockey player Sardar Singh were included in a 12-member single selection committee constituted by the sports ministry to choose this year’s National Sports Awards winners.
The panel will be headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Mukundakam Sharma. The awards are given away on August 29 every year, the birth anniversary of hockey legend Dhyan Chand. However, it is likely that the National Sports Awards function will be delayed this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“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,” a source in the ministry was quoted as saying to PTI.
Other members in the panel includes Paralympic silver-medallist Deepa Malik, former table tennis player Monalisa Baruah Mehta, boxer Venkatesan Devarajan along with sports commentator Manish Batavia and journalists Alok Sinha and THE WEEK’s Deputy Chief of Delhi Bureau Neeru Bhatia.
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,” read a sports ministry release.
(With inputs from PTI)