Sahitya Akademi

The Sahitya Akademi was established on 12 March 1954, through a resolution formed by the government on December 1952. Though set up by the Government, the Akademi functions as an autonomous organisation and fosters and coordinates all literary activities in all Indian languages to promote the cultural  unity of the country.

Sahitya Akademi undertakes literary activities in 24 Indian languages including English. Ever since its inception, the Akademi has organised seminars, lectures, symposia, discussions, readings and performances to keep alive the intimate dialogue among the various linguistic and literary zones. It has also tried to develop serious literary culture through the publications of journals, monographs, individual creative works of every genre, anthologies, encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, who's who of writers and histories of literature. It has so for brought out over 6000 books, the present pace of publication being one book every 19 hours.

Sahitya Akademi Awards

Sahitya Akademi gives 24 awards annually to literary works in various Indian languages it has recognized and an equal number of awards to literary translations from and into the languages of India. It also gives special awards called Bhasha Samman to significant contribution to the languages not formally recognized by the Akademi as also for contribution to classical and medieval literature. It has also system of electing eminent writers as Fellows and Honorary Fellows and has also established fellowship in the names of Dr. Anand Coomaraswamy and Premchand.

Literary Activities of Sahitya Akademi

To increase literary awareness among the common readers, the Sahitya Akademi's programmes provide a platform of dialogue for writers of various languages, to create opportunities for academics to discuss issues of literature and aesthetics.

Sahitya Akademi holds, on an average, one hundred and fifty literary programmes and activities of various types and scales every year. Annual seminars in each of the 24 recognised languages are held following the suggestions from the 24 language advisory boards - consisting of ten significant writers / scholars / critics from each - whose constitution changes every five years. These boards also suggest National Seminars on certain important themes or on writers and texts whose centenaries, bicentenaries etc. are being celebrated in a particular year. There are also regional Seminars suggested by the four Regional Boards where the accent is on comparative literature and criticism.


The Sahitya Akademi organises seminars nvolving topics and writers in the 24 languages at international, national and regional level on literary topics as also to mark birth centenaries of eminent writers. 

Samvatsar Lectures

known as Samvatsar Lectures and initiated in 1986, the annual lectures of the Sahitya Akademi are given by a distinguished writer and a creative thinker who has a thorough understanding of Indian literature


The new literary programme Kavi-Anuvadak which began in 2001 provides an opportunity for the audience to enjoy poetry in original from the poet and translation from a translator.


A series of programmes under the title Samvad was started in 1994 by Sahitya Akademi to honour Fellows of the Sahitya Akademi so that readers and lovers of literature have an opportunity to hear the author read from his or her own works.


This provides a special platform for younger writers from different languages for exposure in the literary field. The programme consists of reading from the creative works, talks and exchanges.


It is a programme for writers in search of a collective identity. The first programme was held with the participation of three women poets in the year 1996. 


The literary programme Avishkar which was started in 1998 provides an opportunity to the readers a new search in the works of the doyens of Indian literature.


One of the important activities of the Akademi is to organise national, regional and language workshops of literary translation with the aim of bringing together translators from different parts of the country, giving them a grounding in the theoretical and practical aspects of translation, and preparing them to meet the challenges that the translators have to face, especially in the multilingual Indian set up.

Sahitya Akademi
Rabindra Bhavan
35, Ferozeshah Road
New Delhi-110001
Phone: 011-23386626/27/28
Fax: 011-23382428

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