Bengaluru: On India’s 74th Independence Day, the New India Foundation (NIF) will begin inviting applications for the 1st round of the NIF Translation Fellowships to be awarded in 2022. 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.
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. 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 are invited from translators for ten languages; Assamese, Bangla, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Odia, Tamil and Urdu. Selected by a Language Expert Committee to ensure high-quality scholarship, the Fellowship 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 our mission of post-1947 India to include a broadly defined modern India only for the purposes of our Translation Fellowship.
Awarded for a period of six 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 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.
Speaking on this initiative, Niraja Gopal Jayal, Trustee, New India Foundation said, “There is an old saying about India that ‘kos-kos meinbadlepaani; chaar kos meinvaani’. 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.”
Applications open: August 11, 2021
Deadline for submissions: 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 including:
KuladharSaikia – Assamese
Ipshita Chanda – Bangla
TridipSuhrud – Gujarati
Harish Trivedi – Hindi
Vivek Shanbhag – Kannada
RajanGurukkal – Malayalam
SuhasPalshikar – Marathi
Jatin Nayak – Odia
AR Venkatachalapathy – Tamil
Ayesha Kidwai & Rana Safvi – Urdu