Sahitya Akademi Award 2020: General Information and List of Sahitya Akademi Award Winners

Sahitya Akademi Award: Ever since the inception of the Sahitya Akademi Award by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who happened to be the first chairperson as well, it has been the dream of all Indian writers in various languages to look forward to one of the prestigious literary awards. It recognizes the most outstanding literary talent and the fine works of amazing writers in different Indian Languages. There is a criterion to win the award, and it is looked into by an esteemed jury. The award was conceptualized to promote the Indian literature scene in the global sphere. The first recipient was R.K.Narayan for his book ‘The Guide.’

The Akademi is run by three authorities

  • General council
  • Finance committee
  • Executive board

The Akademi is known for holding the largest library of multi-lingual books in India

Various languages have been included, and now the tally has risen to 24 recognized languages of the Sahitya Akademi, and literary works in them can now get nominated for the Sahitya Akademi award. There have had additional recognitions that have been given as a literary appreciation, such as

  • Bhasha Samman
  • Yuva Sahityakar
  • Bal Sahitya Puraskar

The initial amount of the prize was only Rs5000, and over the years, it has increased to one lakh rupees along with a citation. The academy is autonomous and comes under the Central Government’s Ministry of Culture.  To be able to get an entry, the work has to be either creative or of critical nature. The language advisory board looks into an outstanding contribution to the language by a writer when they are choosing the awardee in each language. 

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What it means to be a Sahitya Akademi Award winner?

For the winner, it is the second-best literary award to be won after the Jnanpith, which is the premier literary award in India, and very few people have been bestowed with the honor. The work will then be translated into other regional languages so that there is a wider reach out to the audiences. Pan India will get to know about your literary achievement along with the recognition.

Sahitya Akademi Award Criteria for Entries

For winning the award, the author can present a work of translation, an anthology, compilation, research work, work of an author who was awarded another literary prize (earlier) or won the Bhashan Samman/fellow of Sahitya Akademi/work of an executive board member of the academy. It could be a fresh collection of writing( which could have been published earlier or in the revised editions). Works that may be incomplete but the book is complete in itself as well as a posthumous publication are all eligible for this prestigious literary award.

It has to be noted who is part of the board, and the academy isn’t allowed to canvas for their works when the selection is being down, which can get them disqualified.

Sahitya Akademi Award 2019 Winners

In the year 2019 the award has been given to the following:

Language Title & Genre Author Name
Assamese Chanakya (Novel) Joysree Goswami Mahanta
Bengali Ghumer Darja Thele (Essays) Chinmoy Guha
Bodo Akhai Athumniphrai (Poetry) Phukan Ch. Basumatary
Dogri Bandralta Darpan (Essays) Om Sharma Jandriari
English An Era of Darkness (Non-Fiction) Shashi Tharoor
Gujarati Mojma Revu Re (Essays) Ratilal Borisagar
Hindi Chheelate Hue Apne Ko (Potery) Nand Kishore Acharya
Kannada Kudi Esaru (Autobiography) Vijaya
Kashmiri Akh Yaad Akh Qayamat (Short Stories) Abdul AhadHajini
Konkani The Words (Potery) Nilba A Khandekar
Maithili Jingik Oriaon Kariat (Poetry) Kumar Manish Arvind
Malayalam Achan Piranna Veedu (Poetry) V Madhusoodanan Nair
Manipuri EiAmadi Adungeigi Eethat (Novel) L Birmangol Singh (Beryl Thanga)
Odia Bhaswati (Short Stories) Tarun Kanti Mishra
Punjabi Antheen (Short Stories) Kirpal Kazak
Rajasthani BareekBaat (Short Stories) Ramswaroop Kisan
Sanskrit Prajnachakshusham (Poetry) Penna Madhusudan
Santali Sisirkali (Short Stories) Kali Charan Hembram
Sindhi Jeejal (Short Stories) Ishwar Moorjani
Tamil Sool (Novel) Cho Dharman
Telugu Septabhoomi (Novel) Bandi Narayana Swamy
Urdu Sawaneh-E-Sir Syed: Ek Bazadeed (Biography) Shafey Kidwai

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Sahitya Akademi Award FAQs

Q. Which is the inception year of the Sahitya Akademi award?

Ans: It was in the year 1954 that such a prestigious literary prize began.

Q. When is the award presented?

Ans: The award is presented every year for the most outstanding original literary work.

Q. Which were the recent language additions made?

Ans: Bodo and Santhali were introduced in 2005.

Q. When were the first awards given?

Ans: The first award was given in 1955.

Q. How much is the prize money?

Ans: The present prize money is Rs.1,00,000/-.

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