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Sahitya Akademi: The National Academy of Letters of India
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Sep 7, 2004

The Sahitya Akademi was set up by the Government of India to foster and coordinate literary activities in all the Indian languages and to promote through them the cultural unity of India. The Akademi was formally launched by the Government of India on March 12, 1954. It was registered as a society on January 7, 1956 under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.

In this context, it gives twenty two awards to literary works in the languages it has recognised and an equal number to literary translations from and into the languages of India, both after an year-long process of scrutiny, discussion and selection. The awards are meant to recognise and promote excellence in Indian writing and expanding the very definition of Indian literature by acknowledging new trends and movements. They are a reflection of current tastes and contribute to the formation of an Indian sensibility. The award carries a monetary component (Rs. 15, 000) and a plaque.

The languages that this award currently supports may be found on this page:

It is currently one of the biggest publishers of books and journals in India. "We believe that multilingualism has been the very stuff of our nationalism and that the diversity of creative genius in the country is the very foundation of the rich and complex unity of our literary culture."

As the 17th-century Marathi poet Tukaram once said: Words are the only jewels I possess, words are the only clothes I wear, words are the only food that sustains my life, words are the only wealth I distribute among people.

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Sahitya Akademi: The National Academy of Letters of India

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