Moortidevi Award

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Moortidevi Award
Award for contributions to Literature
Awarded forLiterary award in India
Sponsored byBharatiya Jnanpith
Reward(s)4 lakh (US$6,300)
First awarded1983 (Instituted in 1961)
Last awarded2017
Most recent winnerJoy Goswami
Total awarded30
First winnerC. K. Nagaraja Rao
Last winnerJoy Goswami

The Moortidevi Award is an India literary award annually presented by the Bharatiya Jnanpith, a literary and research organisation, to an author.[1] The award is given only to Indian writers writing in Indian languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India, and in English,[a] with no posthumous conferral or self nomination.[3]

From 2003, the award was given to the authors for their "contemplative and perceptive work" and consisted of a cash prize of 1 lakh (US$1,600), a citation plaque, a shawl, and a statue of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge and wisdom.[4][5][6] The cash prize was raised to 2 lakh (US$3,100) in 2011 and to 4 lakh (US$6,300) in 2013.[7][8] The first recipient of the award was the Kannada writer C. K. Nagaraja Rao who was honoured in 1983 for his novel, Pattamahadevi Shantala Devi, which was published in four volumes.[4][9]

Works have been presented the award in ten of the twenty-three eligible languages: Urdu, Telugu, Rajasthani, Marathi and Bengali (one each), Gujarati, Odia and Kannada (two), Malayalam (three) and Hindi (sixteen). No awards were given in 1985 and between 1996 to 1999. The award has been conferred upon twenty-nine writers including one women author: In 1991, Odia academic and writer Pratibha Ray became the first woman to win the award and was honoured for the 1985 novel Yajnasani.[10] Ray and Nirmal Verma have won both the Moortidevi as well as the Jnanpith Award.[11][12] As of 2017, Bengali poet Joy Goswami is the most recent recipient of the award.[13]


The Bharatiya Jnanpith, a research and cultural institute founded in 1944 by industrialist Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain of the Sahu Jain family, conceived an idea in May 1961 to start a scheme "commanding national prestige and of international standard" to "select the best book out of the publications in Indian languages".[14][15] In November that year, Rama Jain, the Founder President of the Bharatiya Jnanpith, invited a few literary experts to discuss various aspects of the scheme. Jain, along with Kaka Kalelkar, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Jainendra Kumar, Jagdish Chandra Mathur, Prabhakar Machwe, Akshaya Kumar Jain, and Lakshmi Chandra Jain, presented the initial draft to the then President of IndiaRajendra Prasad who had shown interest in the scheme's implementation. The idea was also discussed at the 1962 annual sessions of the All India Gujarati Sahitya Parishad and the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad.[14] The award is given in the memory of Moortidevi, mother of Sahu Jain and was first presented in 1983.[1]

Selection process[edit]

Only the work of a living author, published at least one year and at the most ten years before the relevant award year, is considered. The Selection Committee is free to consider any other works besides the proposals submitted to it. No award may be declared for a year if the selection committee does not find any work measuring up to the required standard.[1] The nominations for the award are received from several literary experts, teachers, critics, universities, and numerous literary and language associations. Every three years, an advisory committee is constituted for each of the languages. Each committee consists of three literary critics and scholars of their respective languages.[3]

The Selection Board consists of between seven and eleven members of "high repute and integrity". Each member is part of the committee for a term of three years which can also be extended further for two more terms. The recommendations of all language advisory committees are evaluated by the board based on complete or partial translations of the selected writings of the proposed writers into Hindi or English.[1]


An image of C.K Nagaraja Rao.
C. K. Nagaraja Rao was the first recipient of the award.
An image of Pratibha Ray.
Pratibha Ray is the only female recipient of the award.
An image of Joy Goswami.
Joy Goswami is the most recent recipient of the award.
List of award recipients, showing the year, and language[16]
Rao, C. K. NagarajaC. K. Nagaraja RaoPattamahadevi Shantala DeviKannada[4]
Sakhlecha, Virendra KumarVirendra Kumar SakhlechaHindi[17]
Sethia, KanhaiyalalKanhaiyalal SethiaRajasthani[18]
Pancholi, ManubhaiManubhai PancholiZer To Pidha Chhe Jani JaniGujarati[19]
Prabhakar, VishnuVishnu PrabhakarHindi[20]
Mishra, Vidya NiwasVidya Niwas MishraHindi[21]
Nagraj, MunishreeMunishree NagrajHindi[16]
Ray, PratibhaPratibha RayYagnaseniOdia[5]
Rai, Kuber NathKuber Nath RaiHindi[22]
Dubey, ShyamacharanShyamacharan DubeyHindi[3]
Sawant, ShivajiShivaji SawantMrityunjayMarathi[4]
Verma, NirmalNirmal VermaBharat aur Europe: Pratishruti ke ShetraHindi[4]
Pande, Govind ChandraGovind Chandra PandeSahitiya Saundarya aur SanskritiHindi[4]
Tripathi, RammurtiRammurti TripathiShriguru MahimaHindi[4]
Shalya, YashdevYashdev ShalyaHindi[16]
Lodha, Kalyan MalKalyan Mal LodhaHindi[16]
Desai, NarayanNarayan DesaiMaroon Jeewan Aaj Mari VaaniGujarati[23]
Sharma, RammurtiRammurti SharmaBharatiya Darshan Ki ChintadharaHindi[23]
Mishra, Krishna BihariKrishna Bihari MishraKalpataru ke Utsav LeelaHindi[24]
Moily, VeerappaVeerappa MoilyShri Ramayana MahanveshanamKannada[25]
Raghuvansh, RaghuvanshRaghuvansh RaghuvanshPaschimi Bhautik Samskriti Ka Utthan Aur PatanHindi[7]
Namboothiri, Akkitham AchuthanAkkitham Achuthan NamboothiriVarious poems.Malayalam[26]
Narang, Gopi ChandGopi Chand NarangUrdu Ghazal aur Hindustani Zehn-o TahzeebUrdu[27]
Kothari, GulabGulab KothariAhmev Radha, Ahmev KrishnahHindi[28]
Das, HaraprasadHaraprasad DasVamshaOdia[5]
Radhakrishnan, C.C. RadhakrishnanTheekkadal Katanhu ThirumadhuramMalayalam[8]
Tripathi, VishwanathVishwanath TripathiVyomkesh DarveshHindi[29]
Enoch, KolakaluriKolakaluri EnochAnanta JeevanamTelugu[30]
Kumar, M. P. VeerendraM. P. Veerendra KumarHymavathabhoovilMalayalam[31]
Goswami, JoyJoy GoswamiDu Dondo Phowara MatroBengali[13]


  1. ^ The Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India consists of twenty-two languages viz. Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Moortidevi Award". Bharatiya Jnanpith. Retrieved 1 December 2017. 
  2. ^ "The Constitution of India: Eighth Schedule" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs (India). p. 1. Retrieved 28 May 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c "Proposal for the 29th Moortidevi Award" (PDF). Bharatiya Jnanpith. 10 August 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Moortidevi Awards for two writers". The Times of India. 24 February 2003. Retrieved 17 December 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c "Moortidevi Award for Haraprasad Das". The Times of India. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2015. 
  6. ^ "Happy Basant Panchami 2017: Why We Celebrate This Festival". NDTV. 31 January 2017. Retrieved 1 December 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "Hamid Ansari presents 'Moortidevi Award' to Dr. Raghuvansh". Sify. 16 May 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Moortidevi Award for C. Radhakrishnan". The Hindu. 14 June 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  9. ^ "List of Hindi Books" (PDF). Vikram Sarabhai Library-IIM. Retrieved 1 December 2017. 
  10. ^ Tiwari 2005, p. 108.
  11. ^ "Speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the presentation of 47th Jnanpith Award to Dr. Pratibha Ray" (Press release). Press Information Bureau, India. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2016. 
  12. ^ "Nirmal Verma, Gurdial Singh jointly get Jnanpith Award". The Hindu. 11 March 2000. Retrieved 20 May 2016. 
  13. ^ a b "Bengali poet Joy Goswami to get 31st Moortidevi Award". India Today. 15 December 2017. Retrieved 16 December 2017. 
  14. ^ a b "Jnanpith Award @ Bharatiya Jnanpith". Bharatiya Jnanpith. Retrieved 28 May 2016. 
  15. ^ Datta 1987, p. 298.
  16. ^ a b c d "Moortidevi Laureates". Bharatiya Jnanpith. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  17. ^ "Bharatiya Jnanpith second moorti devi literary award". The Times Group. 27 April 1986. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  18. ^ Thukral 2017, p. 5.
  19. ^ Vol 1987, p. 37.
  20. ^ Vipāsā 2009, p. 40.
  21. ^ India 1992, p. 1004.
  22. ^ Maheshwari 1999, p. 192.
  23. ^ a b "Narayan Desai to be awarded". Daily News and Analysis. 18 April 2007. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  24. ^ "Moily gets Moortidevi Award". Deccan Herald. 4 November 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  25. ^ "Moortidevi Award for Veerappa Moily". The Times of India. 19 March 2010. 
  26. ^ "Moortidevi Award for Akkitham". The Hindu. 19 January 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  27. ^ Bhattacharya, Budhaditya (19 November 2012). "Reclaiming the ghazal's space". The Hindu. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  28. ^ "Vice President Calls upon People to Stay Connected with their Cultural Roots". Press Information Bureau. 4 September 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  29. ^ "Moortidevi Award for Hindi author Vishwanath Tripathi". Business Standard. 26 June 2015. Retrieved 17 December 2015. 
  30. ^ "Award for Kolakaluri Enoch". The Hindu. Retrieved 28 February 2016. 
  31. ^ "M P Veerendra Kumar to get 30th Moortidevi Award on March 4". India Today. 23 February 2017. Retrieved 3 December 2017. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]