Shares the Knowledge !


Jnanpith Award


The Jnanpith Award is an Indian literary award presented annually by the Bharatiya Jnanpith to an author for their "outstanding contribution towards literature". Instituted in 1961, the award is bestowed only on Indian writers writing in Indian languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India and English, with no posthumous conferral.

The Bharatiya Dnyanpith, a research and cultural institute founded in 1944 by industrialist Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain of the Sahu Jain family, conceived an idea in May 1961 to start a scheme "commanding national prestige and of international standard" to "select the best book out of the publications in Indian languages". Later in November, Rama Jain, the Founder President of the Bharatiya Dnyanpith, invited a few literary experts to discuss various aspects of the scheme. Jain along with Kaka Kalelkar, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Jainendra Kumar, Jagdish Chandra Mathur, Prabhakar Machwe, Akshaya Kumar Jain, and Lakshmi Chandra Jain presented the initial draft to the then President of India Rajendra Prasad who had shown interest in the scheme's implementation. The idea was also discussed at the 1962 annual sessions of the All India Gujarati Sahitya Parishad and the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad.

On 2 April 1962, around 300 writers of various Indian languages were invited to Delhi for the two sessions conducted by Dharamvir Bharati in which the draft was finalised and later presented to Prasad. The first award selection committee meeting was scheduled on 16 March 1963 and Prasad was appointed as its president. However, Prasad died on 28 February 1963 and thus the scheduled meeting was chaired by Kalelkar and Sampurnanand acted as president of the committee.

The first Selection Board consisted of Kalelkar, Niharranjan Ray, Karan Singh, R. R. Diwakar, V. Raghavan, B. Gopal Reddy, Harekrushna Mahatab, Rama Jain, and Lakshmi Chandra Jain and was headed by Sampurnanand. Works that were published between 1921 and 1951 were considered for the first award. The nine language committees that were formed were to submit to the board nominations along with translations of the work into Hindi or English. The final round had four authors; Kazi Nazrul Islam (Bengali), D. V. Gundappa (Kannada), Viswanatha Satyanarayana (Telugu), and G. Sankara Kurup (Malayalam). On 19 November 1966, Kurup was presented with the citation, statue of Saraswati, and a cheque for prize of ₹1 lakh (equivalent to ₹45 lakh or US$65,000 in 2018) at a ceremony held at Vigyan Bhavan, Delhi. In his acceptance speech, Kurup appreciated the concept of the new award and thanked it for bringing "integration of the diverse people of this land on a spiritual plane".

From 1965 till 1981, the award was given to the authors for their "most outstanding work" and consisted of a citation plaque, a cash prize of ₹1 lakh (equivalent to ₹50 lakh or US$72,000 in 2018), and a bronze replica of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge and wisdom. The first recipient of the award was the Malayalam writer G. Sankara Kurup who received the award in 1965 for his collection of poems, Odakkuzhal (The Bamboo Flute), published in 1950. The rules were revised in subsequent years to consider only works published during the preceding twenty years, excluding the year for which the award was to be given and the cash prize was increased to ₹1.5 lakh (equivalent to ₹23 lakh or US$33,000 in 2018) from 1981.

As of 2015, the cash prize has been revised to ₹11 lakh (equivalent to ₹12 lakh or US$18,000 in 2018) and out of twenty-three eligible languages the award has been presented for works in sixteen languages: Hindi (eleven), Kannada (eight), Bengali (six), Malayalam (five), Gujarati, Marathi, Odia, and Urdu (four each), Telugu (three), Assamese, Punjabi, and Tamil (two each), English, Kashmiri, Konkani, and Sanskrit (one each). The award has been conferred upon fifty-eight writers including seven women authors. In 1976, Bengali novelist Ashapoorna Devi became the first woman to win the award and was honoured for the 1965 novel Pratham Pratishruti (The First Promise), the first in a trilogy. The most recent recipient of the award is English-language fiction writer Amitav Ghosh who was awarded for the year 2018.

The nominations for the award are received from various literary experts, teachers, critics, universities, and numerous literary and language associations. Every three years, an advisory committee is constituted for each of the languages. The language of the most recent recipient's work is not eligible for consideration for the next two years. Each committee consists of three literary critics and scholars of their respective languages. All the nominations are scrutinised by the committee and their recommendations are submitted to the Dnyanpith Award Selection Board (Pravara Parishad).

Award recipients :

Year State Name Works Language
1965 Kerala G. Sankara Kurup Odakkuzhal (Flute) Malayalam
1966 Bengal Tarashankar Bandopadhyaya Ganadevta Bengali
1967 Karnataka Kuppali Venkatappagowda Puttappa (Kuvempu) Sri Ramayana Darshanam Kannada
1967
Umashankar Joshi Nishitha Gujarati
1968
Sumitranandan Pant Chidambara Hindi
1969
Firaq Gorakhpuri Gul-e-Naghma Urdu
1970 Andra Pradesh Viswanatha Satyanarayana Ramayana Kalpavrikshamu (A resourceful tree:Ramayana) Telugu
1971 Bengal Bishnu Dey Smriti Satta Bhavishyat Bengali
1972
Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar' Urvashi Hindi
1973 Karnataka Dattatreya Ramachandra Bendre Nakutanti (Naku Thanthi) (Four Strings) Kannada
1973
Gopinath Mohanty Paraja Oriya
1974
Vishnu Sakharam Khandekar Yayati Marathi
1975 Tamilnadu P. V. Akilan Chitttrappavai Tamil
1976 Bengal Ashapurna Devi Pratham Pratisruti Bengali
1977 Karnataka K. Shivaram Karanth Mookajjiya Kanasugalu (Mookajjis dreams) Kannada
1978
Sachchidananda Hirananda Vatsyayan 'Ajneya' Kitni Navon Men Kitni Bar (How many times in many boats?) Hindi
1979
Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya Mrityunjay (Immortal) Assamese
1980 Kerala S. K. Pottekkatt Oru Desathinte Katha (Story of a land) Malayalam
1981
Amrita Pritam Kagaj te Canvas Punjabi
1982
Mahadevi Varma Yama Hindi
1983 Karnataka Maasti Venkatesh Ayengar Chikkaveera Rajendra (Life and struggle of Kodava King Chikkaveera Rajendra) Kannada
1984 Kerala Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai Kayar {Coir} Malayalam
1985
Pannalal Patel Maanavi Ni Bhavaai Gujarati
1986
Sachidananda Rout Roy
Oriya
1987
Vishnu Vaman Shirwadkar (Kusumagraj) Natsamrat Marathi
1988
Dr. C. Narayana Reddy Vishwambhara Telugu
1989
Qurratulain Hyder Akhire Shab Ke Humsafar Urdu
1990 Karnataka V. K. Gokak (Vinayaka Krishna Gokak) Bharatha Sindhu Rashmi Kannada
1991 Bengal Subhas Mukhopadhyay Padati Bengali
1992
Naresh Mehta
Hindi
1993
Sitakant Mahapatra "for outstanding contribution to the enrichment of Indian literature, 1973-92" Oriya
1994 Karnataka U. R. Ananthamurthy for his contributions to Kannada literature Kannada
1995 Kerala M. T. Vasudevan Nair Randamoozham (Second Chance) Malayalam
1996 Bengal Mahasweta Devi Hajar Churashir Ma Bengali
1997
Ali Sardar Jafri
Urdu
1998 Karnataka Girish Karnad "for his contributions to Kannada literature and for contributions to kannada theater (yayati)" Kannada
1999
Nirmal Verma
Hindi
1999
Gurdial Singh
Punjabi
2000
Indira Goswami
Assamese
2001
Rajendra Keshavlal Shah
Gujarati
2002 Tamilnadu D. Jayakanthan
Tamil
2003
Vinda Karandikar Ashtadarshana (poetry) Marathi
2004
Rahman Rahi Subhuk Soda, Kalami Rahi and Siyah Rode Jaren Manz Kashmiri
2005
Kunwar Narayan
Hindi
2006 Karnataka Ravindra Kelekar
Konkani
2006
Satya Vrat Shastri
Sanskrit
2007 Kerala O. N. V. Kurup
Malayalam
2008
Akhlaq Mohammed Khan 'Shahryar'
Urdu
2009
Amar Kant
Hindi
2009
Shrilal Shukla
Hindi
2010 Karnataka Chandrashekhara Kambara for his contributions to Kannada literature Kannada
2011
Pratibha Ray
Oriya
2012 A.P Ravuri Bharadhwaja Pakudu Rallu (Crawling Stones) Telugu
2013 U.P Kedarnath Singh Akaal Mein Saras Hindi
2014 Maharashtra Bhalchandra Nemade Jagnyachi Samrudhha Adgal Marathi
2015 Gujarat Raghuveer Chaudhari For his contributions to Gujarati literature Gujarathi
2016 Bengal Shankha Ghosh Bengali
2017 Krishna Sobti Hindi
2018 Amitav Ghosh English

Last updated on: 24/10/2019

Share:

Popular Posts