Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has approved the names of eighty two sportspersons to be conferred with the state's highest sports honour – the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Award. He also gave his nod to a proposal to include 12 Padma Shri, Arjuna and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratan Awardees from the state in this list.
The decision, taken by the Chief Minister last evening while chairing the Award Apex Committee meeting would clear the backlog of the last eight years (since 2011). The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 2 Lakhs, along with a trophy of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, astride his horse, in a warrior’s uniform, with a blazer and a scroll.
Amarinder Singh also asked the Sports Minister to thrash out the modalities for setting up the Sports University and review progress regularly to ensure the project was completed within the prescribed timeframe. The Chief Minister also gave his consent to flag off the full marathon dedicated to 550th Birth Anniversary Celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, being organized by the department at Mohali on March 31.
Punjab has always been at the forefront in making the nation proud with its sporting achievements in the international arena, Captain Amarinder Singh said adding that he was confident the state athletes would win many laurels at the forthcoming Tokyo Olympics. Underlining the importance of a thriving sports culture, Amarinder Singh said the ecosystem set up in the state with the upgradation of infrastructure in the last two years would be instrumental in nurturing the budding sports talent in the region. The state's new sports policy had provided the much needed thrust to nurturing budding players, he added.
Earlier, the Sports Minister apprised Amarinder that only those candidates who represent the state in national and international competition were eligible for the award, the only exception being in the case of Public Sector Undertakings/Service employees who were unable to represent Punjab in national competitions.
The meeting was attended by Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, Additional Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar, and Director Sports Amrit Gill.
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