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Sahitya Akademi Awards

Source: HT

Context: The Union Ministry of Culture expressed its intent to change the process of nomination for the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award.

 

The Sahitya Akademi Awards:

  • These are bestowed annually by the Sahitya Akademi – India’s National Academy of Letters, on writers of the most outstanding books of literary merit published in
    • Any of the 22 languages of the 8th Schedule to the Indian constitution
    • As well as in English and Rajasthani
  • With four awards for each language, the Akademi plays a crucial role in recognising excellence in literature.

 

The selection process:

  • For the main award/ Bhasha Samman conducted through a rigorous and confidential process overseen by experts – the body comprises one writer chosen from each of the 24 regional languages.
  • Each member suggests 200 names, following which an expert committee finalises 50 in phase one → 5 in the next phase and finally, one of the five is shortlisted.

 

Changes proposed: Open nomination process, where any writer can nominate himself or herself and also recommend other candidates for the awards.

Concerns: Political interference will distract the qualitative work of the Akademi.