The New India Foundation initiative to celebrate knowledge in Indian languages and literature


September 20, 2023

The New India Foundation initiative  to celebrate knowledge in Indian languages and literature

The New India Foundation (NIF) is pleased to announce the commencement of applications for the 2nd round of the NIF Translation Fellowships to be awarded in 2024. Aimed at encouraging translations from important non-fiction works in Indian languages into English, the NIF Translation Fellowships will showcase the country’s rich history through its diverse languages and literary knowledge traditions. The first round of the Fellowships (awarded to Bangla, Kannada and Marathi) are all slated for publication by 2025. These three significant translations will supplement the 32 books already published under the New India Foundation aegis through the flagship Book Fellowship programme. Our aim through the Translation Fellowships is to expand on the NIF’s mission to sponsor research and writing on all aspects of Independent India.

Proposals are invited from translators for ten Indian languages:  Assamese, Bangla, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Odia, Tamil and Urdu. Each language has a corresponding Expert from our Language Expert Committee, which consists of leading Indian authors and scholars, to ensure the highest standards of selection and support. The Fellowship will be awarded on the basis of the choice of text, quality of translation, and overall project proposal. The non-fiction source text from any of the 10 languages can be ecumenical, with no constraints on genre as long as it elucidates upon any socio-economic/cultural aspect of Indian history from the year 1850 onwards. NIF is expanding our mission of post-1947 India to include a broadly defined modern India only for the Translation Fellowship.

Awarded for a period of 6 months with a stipend of 6 lakhs to each recipient, the Translation Fellowships will be awarded to translators/writers working on bringing historical Indian-language texts to an English publication. By the end of the year, Fellows are expected to publish the translated works, which will be an extension of their winning proposals.

Speaking on this initiative, Manish Sabharwal, Managing Trustee of the New India Foundation said: “The Translation Fellowships are an attempt to bring Indian knowledge in Indian languages to wider audiences by publishing them in English. There are rich intellectual traditions in our bhashas which deserve to be made accessible and this is our effort towards that.”

Applications open: September 20th, 2023

Deadline for submissions: December 31, 2023

The Jury for these fellowships this year includes the NIF Trustees: political scientist Niraja Jayal Gopal, historian Srinath Raghavan, and entrepreneur Manish Sabharwal alongside the Language Expert Committee in all 10 languages, comprising of esteemed bilingual scholars, professors, academics, and literary translators.

About the New India Foundation

Based in Bengaluru, the core activity of the New India Foundation is the New India Fellowships aimed at enabling high-quality original research and translation on an eclectic range of topics around post-Independence India. The NIF Fellowships have resulted in the publication of a vibrant collection of 32  books through prestigious publishing houses.

Instituted in 2018, the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize, awarded to the best non-fiction book on modern/contemporary India, has further built on this mission of sponsoring extraordinary research and writing on the world’s largest democracy. The 2022 Book Prize was awarded to Shekhar Pathak’s book The Chipko Movement: A People’s History translated from Hindi by Manisha Chaudhry (Permanent Black 2021).

The Annual NIF Lecture was started in 2004 and renamed in 2019 as the Girish Karnad Memorial Lecture in honour of the late multi-lingual scholar. The 2023 Lecture was delivered by Amory Lovins on ‘Can We Innovate Our Way Out of the Climate Crisis?’ at the Bangalore International Centre.

Ramachandra Guha, Nandan Nilekani, Niraja Gopal Jayal, Manish Sabharwal and Srinath Raghavan are the Trustees of the New India Foundation.

For more information, please contact:

Yauvanika Chopra (yauvanika@newindiafoundation.org)





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