[General Studies] Literary Awards in India

  • Sahitya Akademi is India’s National Academy of Letters founded in 1954 & supported by the govt. but functioning independent of it.
  • Sahitya Akademi Fellowship: Awarded to the "immortals of literature," and limited to twenty one individuals at any given time, it is the highest literary honour conferred by the Government of India. The fellowship was established in 1968 and the first elected fellow was Dr.Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan & last so far was Khushwant Singh in 2010.  In addition to the twenty one fellowships, a handful of honorary fellowships have been awarded to international scholars of Indian literature.
  • Sahitya Akademi Award: The Awards relate to books first published during the three years immediately preceding the year of Award. The Award contains an engraved copper plaque, a shawl and a cheque of  1,00,000. Estd. In 1954.
    • Jnanpith Award: It is presented by the Bharatiya Jnanpith, a trust founded by the publishers of the The Times of India.  It carries a check for 7 lakh, a citation plaque and a bronze replica of Saraswati. The award was instituted in 1961, and its first recipient, in 1965, was the Malayalam writer G. Sankara Kurup. Any Indian citizen who writes in any of the official languages of India is eligible for the honour. Shri Lal Shukla (2009)
    • Vyas Samman:  First awarded in 1991, it is awarded annually by the K.K. Birla Foundation and includes a cash payout of  2.5 lakh. To be eligible for the award, the literary work must be in the Hindi language and have been published in the past 10 years.
    • Saraswati Samman:  for outstanding prose or poetry literary works in any Indian language listed in Schedule VIII of the Constitution of IndiaThe award consists of Rs 7.5 lakh, a citation and a plaqueInstituted in 1991 by the K. K. Birla Foundation.

  • Sangeet Natak Akademi is India’s national academy for performing arts (Music, Dance, Drama).  It was created on 31st of May 1952 by Ministry of Education with a resolution of Parliament as the apex body specializing in the performing arts of the country and became functional in 1953.]  It is the highest Indian recognition given to practicing artists. Amount: 1 Lac. Not more than 33 every year. Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship (Akademi Ratna Sadasyata) Since Jan, 2010: restricted to 40. First awarded in 1954.

  • The Lalit Kala Akademi or National Academy of Art is India's National Academy of Fine Arts. It was an autonomous organization, established at New Delhi in 1954 by Government of India to promote and propagate understanding of Indian art, both within and outside the country. It does so through providing scholarships, a fellow program, and sponsoring and organizing numerous exhibitions in India and overseas. It is funded by the Union Ministry of Culture.
  • It has its headquarters at Ravindra Bhawan, Ferozshah Road, New Delhi, and has regional centers at Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Garhi (Delhi), Kolkata, Lucknow and Shimla.
  • Present Chairman of LKA is Balan Nambiar.
  • The Lalit Kala Akademi Fellowship, also, Lalit Kala Akademi Ratna is an honour for the fine arts in India, given to eminent artists for their lifetime achievements in the field of visual arts.
  • The ‘Fellow,’ carries a purse money of Rs.25,000/-, a citation and a plaque. The Fellow is honoured with a portfolio of their art works. The first elected fellow, in 1955, was the artist Jamini Roy. Last Jeram Patel 2007
  • February, 1948: the Prime Minister's Committee on Honours and Awards was set up under the chairmanship of the constitutional advisor to the government of India, Sir B N Rau. It submitted its report on March, 1948.
  • National awards were instituted in 1954 and the purpose for conferment of these awards was codified in 1955 through four Presidential notifications.
  • All persons without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex are eligible for these awards. 
  • Balaji Raghavan/SP Anand v UOI, 1995: Article 18(1) of the Constitution bans conferment of 'titles' by the government. No suffix or prefix.
  • Bharat Ratna:  This service includes artistic, literary, and scientific achievements, as well as "recognition of public service of the highest order.
It is awarded in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour.
  • Padma awards: The award seeks to recognize work of any distinction and is given for distinguished and exceptional achievements/service in all fields of activities/disciplines, such as Art, Literature and Education, Sports, Medicine, Social Work, Science and Engineering, Public Affairs, Civil Service, Trade and Industry etc.
  • Padma Shri is awarded for ‘distinguished service’; 
  • Padma Bhushan for ‘distinguished service of a high order’; and 
  • Padma Vibhushan for ‘exceptional and distinguished service.
  • The Param Vir Chakra (PVC) is India's highest military decoration awarded for the highest degree of valour or self-sacrifice in the presence of the enemy. The PVC was established on 26 January 1950 (the date of India becoming a republic), by the President of India, with effect from 15 August 1947 (the date of Indian independence). It can be awarded to officers or enlisted personnel from all branches of the Indian military. It is the second highest award of the government of India after Bharat Ratna (amendment in the statute on 26 January 1980 resulted in this order of wearing).
  • The Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) is the second highest military decoration in India and is awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea or in the air. It may be awarded posthumously
  • The Ashok Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for valor, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield. It is the peace time equivalent of the Param Vir Chakra.
The medal was originally established on 4 January 1952 as the "Ashoka Chakra, Class I" as the first step of a three-class sequence of non-combatant bravery decorations. In 1967, these decorations were removed from the "class-based" system and renamed as the Ashoka Charkra, Kirti Chakra, and Shaurya Chakra.
From 1 February 1999, the central government instituted a monthly stipend for Ashoka Chakra recipients of Rs. 1400. Jammu and Kashmir awarded a cash award of Rs. 1500 (ca. 1960) for recipients of this award.
  • KIRTI CHAKRA: It is the peacetime equivalent of the Maha Vir Chakra. It is second in order of precedence of peacetime gallantry awards; it comes after Ashoka Chakra and before Shaurya Chakra. Before 1967, the award was known as the Ashoka Chakra, Class II.
From 1 February 1999, the central government set a monthly stipend of Rs. 1050 for recipients of the award. Jammu and Kashmir awards a cash award of Rs. 1000 (ca. 1960) for recipients of the Kirti Chakra.
  • SHAURYA CHAKRA: From 1 February 1999, the central government set a monthly stipend of Rs. 750 for recipients of the award. Jammu and Kashmir awards a cash award of Rs. 700 (ca. 1960) for recipients of the Shaurya Chakra.
  • The National Bravery Awards programme gives due recognition to children who distinguish themselves by performing outstanding deeds
    of bravery and seeks to inspire other children to emulate their example.
  • 1957: Inception. Considered equal to Chakra awards.
  • On February 4th, 1958 Prime Minister Nehru presented the very first Awards for courage and service to two children. Since then ICCW confers national awards on children every year. 
  • Definition "An act of spontaneous selfless service in the face of risk to life or threat of physical injury and or an act of courage and daring against a social evil/crime".
  • Application with recommendation of at least two competent authorities.
  • Age-limit: The child should not be below 6 years and above 18 years of age on the date of the incident.
  • Award: The Awardees receive a medal, a certificate and cash award. Gifts are given by philanthropic organizations.  
  • Additional Benefits: Eligible awardees are granted assistance until they complete their schooling. ICCW provides financial assistance under its Indira Gandhi Scholarship Scheme to those undertaking professional courses such as engineering and medicine and to others till they complete their graduation.
    • Bharat Award (1987)
    • Sanjay & Geeta Chopra award (1978)
    • Bapu Gaidhani Awards (1988)

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