Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award is the highest sporting honour for sportspersons of India. It was instituted in 1991-92 and was known as Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. The award was renamed in 2021. It is awarded annually by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India. The award comprises of a medallion, a certificate and cash prize.
As of 2023, sportspersons from the Shooting discipline have received 8 Khel Ratna awards which is the highest among all disciplines. This is followed by Freestyle Wrestling in which 6 sportspersons have been given the award.
In 2021, 12 Khel Ratna Awards were given to sportspersons of various disciplines, which is the highest for any particular year.
|1.||First person and first Chess player to be awarded||Viswanathan Anand||1991-92|
|2.||First Billiards player to be awarded||Geet Sethi||1992-93|
|3.||First Yachting sportsperson to be awarded||Homi Motivala and Pushpendra Kumar Garg||1993-94|
|4.||First Weightlifter and also first Woman to be awarded||Karnam Malleswari||1994-95|
|5.||First Tennis player to be awarded||Leander Paes||1996-97|
|6.||First Cricket player to be awarded||Sachin Tendulkar||1997-98|
|7.||First Athlete and also first Woman Athlete to be awarded||Jyotirmoyee Sikdar||1998-99|
|8.||First Hockey player to be awarded||Dhanraj Pillay||1999-2000|
|9.||First Badminton player to be awarded||Pullela Gopichand||2000-01|
|10.||First Shooting sportsperson to be awarded||Abhinav Bindra||2001|
|11.||First Shooting sportswoman to be awarded||Anjali Bhagwat||2002|
|12.||First Boxing sportsperson to be awarded||Mary Kom||2009|
|13.||First Wrestler to be awarded||Sushil Kumar||2009|
|14.||First Gymnast to be awarded||Dipa Karmakar||2016|
|15.||First Woman Wrestler to be awarded||Sakshi Malik||2016|
|16.||First Para-athlete to be awarded||Devendra Jhajharia||2017|
|17.||First Table Tennis player to be awarded||Manika Batra||2020|