The New India Foundation (NIF) announced the recipients of the 10th NIF Fellowships on Thursday, a grant that supports original research into themes pertaining to post-Independence India, leading to book-length projects.
From over 900 applications received this year, the jury selected 11 recipients, based on a rigorous screening process and interviews. The fellowships are awarded for a period of one year with an annual stipend of ₹18 Lakhs to each recipient. This amount also includes editorial and publishing support for the projects.
So far, 22 books written by NIF fellow have been published under the NIF aegis, including acclaimed works by journalists, lawyers and academics such as Rahul Pandita, Akshaya Mukul, Saba Dewan, Harish Damodaran, Kartik Shanker, Shashank Kela and Gautam Bhatia.
This year, the fellows comprise a mix of journalists, academics and researchers (such as writer Anjum Hasan, journalist Jaideep Hardikar, and wildlife historian Raza Kazmi), with a wide range of proposals—from a biography of Shillong to Muslims and constitutionalism in India to Irani restaurants in Mumbai.
The list of Fellowship awardees is decided by a panel of jury including political scientist Niraja Gopal Jayal, historian Ramachandra Guha, Rukmini Banerji, CEO of Pratham Education Foundation, entrepreneur and writer Nandan Nilekani, historian Srinath Raghavan, and Manish Sabharwal, Chairman, Teamlease Services.
“This has been an exceptional year for the NIF fellowships. Not only did we receive an extraordinary number of applications, but were delighted to award more fellowships than ever before," said Srinath Raghavan, trustee of the New India Foundation, speaking on behalf of the jury. "The 11 NIF fellows will write books on a remarkable set of topics encompassing cities and forests, law and politics, sports and literature, business and culture—books that promise to transform our understanding of contemporary India."