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Sahitya Akademy Awards 2021

Why in News?

  • Recently, Sahitya Akademi announced its annual Sahitya Akademi Awards in 20 languages.
  • This year 07 books of poetry, 02 of the novel, 05 of short stories, 02 Plays, one each of Biography, Autobiography, Criticism and Epic Poetry have won the Sahitya Akademi Awards 2021.
  • The Awards, recommended by distinguished Jury members in 20 Indian languages, were approved by the Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi.
  • Awards in Gujarati, Maithili, Manipuri and Urdu languages will be announced at a later date.

Basis of Selection

  • The books were selected on the basis of recommendations made by a Jury of three members in the concerned languages in accordance with the procedure laid down for the purpose.
  • According to the procedure, the Executive Board declared the Awards on the basis of unanimous selections made by the Jurors or selections made on the basis of majority vote.
  • The Awards relate to books first published during the five years immediately preceding the year of the Award (i.e. between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2019).

Who are Selected this Year?
UPSC Current Affairs
Which 24 Languages did Sahitya Akademy Recognise?

  • Besides the 22 languages enumerated in the Constitution of India, the Sahitya Akademi has recognised English and Rajasthani as languages in which its programme may be implemented.
  • So, it gives 24 Akademi awards annually to literary works in the recognized languages.

About Sahitya Akademi

  • The Sahitya Akademi was formally inaugurated by the Government of India on 12 March 1954.
  • It is India’s National Academy of Letters and the central institution for literary dialogue, publication and promotion in the country and the only institution that undertakes literary activities in 24 Indian languages, including English.
  • Akademi gives 24 awards annually to literary works in the languages it has recognized and an equal number of awards to literary translations from and into the languages of India, both after a year-long process of scrutiny, discussion and selection.
  • Every year since its inception in 1954, the Sahitya Akademi Award prizes to the most outstanding books of literary merit published in any of the major Indian languages recognised by the Akademi.
  • The award amount, which was Rs.5,000 since inception, had been enhanced to Rs.10,000 from 1983, Rs.25,000 from 1988, Rs.40,000 from 2001, Rs.50,000 from 2003 and is now Rs.1,00,000 from 2009. The first Awards were given in 1955.

About Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar

  • Sahitya Akademi introduced Yuva Puraskar in 2011 to encourage young writers writing in Indian languages and who are below the age of 35.
  • Since then every year awards have been given to the best book by young Indian authors in the Indian languages recognized by the Akademi, viz., Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Santali, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.
  • These awards are presented at a prestigious ceremony and comprise an amount of Rs. 50,000/-, a plaque and a citation.

Important Literary Work Done by Sahitya Akademy

  • Sahitya Akademi has been giving annual awards to books of outstanding merit and annual prizes for outstanding translations in the 24 languages recognised by it.
  • However, the Akademi felt that in a multilingual country like India that has hundreds of languages and dialects, Akademi’s activities should be extended beyond the recognised ones by acknowledging and promoting literary creativity as well as academic research in non-recognised languages.
  • Over the 64 years of its dynamic existence, it has ceaselessly endeavoured to promote good taste and healthy reading habits, to keep alive the intimate dialogue among the various linguistic and literary zones and groups through seminars, lectures, symposia, discussions, readings and performances, to increase the pace of mutual translations through workshops and individual assignments and to develop a serious literary culture through the publications of journals, monographs, individual creative works of every genre, anthologies, encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, who’s who of writers and histories of literature.
  • It has so far brought out over 6000 books, the present pace of publication being one book every 19 hours.
  • Every year the Akademi holds at least 50 seminars at regional, national and international levels along with the workshops and literary gatherings-about 300 in number per year, under various heads like Meet the Author, Samvad, Kavisandhi, Kathasandhi, Loka: The Many Voices, People and Books, Through My Window, Mulakat, Asmita, Antaral, Avishkar, Nari Chetna, Yuva Sahiti, Bal Sahiti, Purvottari and Literary Forum meetings.

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