New India Foundation

To mark India’s 75th Independence Day, the New India Foundation (NIF) has started inviting applications for the 1st round of the NIF Translation Fellowships to be awarded in 2022.

The fellowships are aimed at encouraging translations from outstanding non-fiction works in Indian languages to English.

The NIF Translation Fellowships will showcase the country’s rich history and distinct narratives through regional literature.

These new fellowships complement the existing NIF programme that has led to the publication of 22 books so far and several new works ready for publication, over the 10 fellowship rounds, the NIF said in a statement.

“Our endeavour through the Translation Fellowships is to tap into the rich repository of non-fiction literature in Indian languages to make these works accessible to wider audiences,” NIF said.

In the pursuit of NIF’s mission to sponsor exceptional research and writing on all aspects of Independent India, the first round of Translation Fellowships will be awarded to three outstanding translators/writers for the research and translation of crucial non-fiction works about India from various Indian languages to English.

Proposals have been invited from translators for ten languages including Assamese, Bangla, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Odia, Tamil and Urdu.

Selected by a Language Expert Committee to ensure high-quality scholarship, the Fellowships will be granted 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 the mission of post-1947 India to include a broadly defined modern India only for the purposes of our Translation Fellowship.

The Translation Fellowships will be awarded for a period of six months with a stipend of Rs 6 lakh to each recipient.

The fellowships will be awarded to translators/writers working on bringing historical Indian-language texts into an English publication.

“By the end of the fellowship, fellows are expected to publish the translated works, which will be an extension of their winning proposals,” the NIF stated.

Speaking on the initiative, Niraja Gopal Jayal, trustee, New India Foundation (NIF) said, “There is an old saying about India that ‘kos-kos mein badle paani; chaar kos mein vaani’.

“A culture is captured by its symbols, heroes, rituals, history and writing; the NIF translation fellowships aim to make more of our culture accessible to new audiences,” Jayal added.

The applications are open from August 11, 2021 and the deadline for submissions is December 31, 2021.

The Jury for these fellowships this year includes the NIF Trustees – political scientist Niraja Gopal Jayal, 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.

The Language Expert Committee includes Kuladhar Saikia – Assamese; Ipshita Chanda – Bangla; Tridip Suhrud – Gujarati; Harish Trivedi – Hindi; Vivek Shanbhag – Kannada; Rajan Gurukkal – Malayalam; Suhas Palshikar – Marathi; Jatin Nayak – Odia; AR Venkatachalapathy – Tamil and Ayesha Kidwai & Rana Safvi – Urdu.

Based in Bengaluru, the core activity of the New India Foundation is the New India Fellowships, which have been awarded to scholars and writers for over a decade and a half now.

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