New Delhi, Aug 4: The Indian government is considering tweaking the rules to permit batting genius Sachin Tendulkar to become a recipient of the nation's most prestigious civilian award, for which sports celebrities are as of yet, ineligible.
"A suggestion regarding modification in the existing eligibility norms has been received and is under consideration," junior home minister Mullappally Ramachandran coveyed to the upper house of parliament on Wednesday.
The clamour in recent years has hit a crescendo to confer the "Bharat Ratna" (Jewel of India) award on the record-quashing Tendulkar, the world's most prosperous Test and one-day batsman.
The criteria for recipients, conceived in 1955, limits the award to "exceptional services in arts, literature and science, and in recognition of public services of the highest order."
Sports minister Ajay Maken had recommended to the home ministry, an amendment that would make sportspeople such as Tendulkar, eligible.
There have been 41 recipients of the Bharat Ratna thus far, including foreigners Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, the Afghan who fought for India's independence from British rule in 1947, and Nelson Mandela of South Africa.
Tendulkar, 38, currently owns the world record for most runs (14,810 in Tests and 18,111 in one-dayers) and most centuries (51 in Tests and 48 in one-dayers).