Sahitya Akademi Award | 13 Mar 2021

Why in News

Recently, Marathi writer Nanda Khare refused to accept the Sahitya Akademi award for his novel “Udya”, published in 2014.

Key Points

  • About Sahitya Akademi Award:
    • Sahitya Akademi award established in 1954, is a literary honour that is conferred annually by Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of letters.
    • 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.
      • 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.
    • The Sahitya Akademi award is the second-highest literary honour by the Government of India, after the Jnanpith award.
  • Criteria for Choosing Awardee:
    • The author must be of Indian Nationality.
    • Book/work eligible for the award must be an outstanding contribution to the language and literature to which it belongs.
    • When equal merit for books of two or more are found, certain criteria like total literary contribution and standing of authors shall be taken into consideration for declaring award.
  • About the Marathi Novel ‘Udya’:
    • It is a futuristic account of the possible scenarios emerging as consequences of the current capitalistic and machine-driven human life.
    • It nuances how humans have been enslaved by machines, particularly by the ones that are susceptible to surveillance of one’s personal life.

Jnanpith Award

  • The Jnanpith award is the highest literary award in India and can only be conferred annually upon an Indian citizen.
  • English along with other languages mentioned in Indian Constitution (8th Schedule) is considered for the Award.
  • The prize carries a cash award of Rs. 11 lakhs, a citation, and a bronze replica of Vagdevi (Saraswati), the goddess of learning.
  • It is sponsored by the cultural organization Bharatiya Jnanpith.
  • For 2018, author Amitav Ghosh became the first English language writer to become a Jnanpith laureate.
  • Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri in Malayalam language is the latest recipient of the award for the year 2019.

Other Sahitya Akademi Awards

  • Sahitya Akademi Bal Sahitya Puraskar is given to an author based on his/her total contribution to children literature and relates to books first published during the five years immediately preceding the year of Award.
  • Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar relates to books published by an author of the age of 35 and below.