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JCB launches a Country’s Maiden and Richest Literary Award

Newdelhi:24/4/18;CB is probably best known for its delightful yellow earthmoving and construction equipment, the stuff of every young boy’s dreams.

But this year and onwards JCB is also going to become a part of every Indian author’s dreams, as it launches the JCB prize for Literature.

JCB of course is not noted for its appreciation of Indian literature, and the judging will be totally independent of the company, with novelist Rana Dasgupta overseeing the event as literary director.

The prize is ground-breaking both for its awards – 25 lakh (2.5 million) rupees to the outright winner ($38,000), and for its broad range, embracing books from any Indian languages that have been translated into English.


jcb jury

The Jury for the 2018 JCB Prize for Literature (From left to right): Arshia Sattar, Priyamvada Natarajan, Deepa Mehta, Rohan Murty and Vivek Shanbhag

The stated aims of the prize are

  • To enhance the prestige and commercial success of contemporary Indian literature
  • To create greater prominence for literary writers in Indian cultural and intellectual life
  • To foster translation between Indian languages, and to introduce readers to Indian writing in languages other than their own

Each shortlisted author will receive 1 lakh rupees ($1,500) and if the winning title is a translation from an Indian language the translator will receive 5 lakh rupees ($7,700).

The longlist of ten will be announced in September, and a shortlist of five in October, with the winner to be declared at an awards ceremony on November 3.

Self-published works will not be eligible, and authors must be Indian citizens.

The bar on self-published titles will raise shackles in some quarters, no doubt, but perhaps a more important debate arising is how one defines a work of national literature.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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