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Sahitya Akademi

           The Kerala Sahitya Akademi is an autonomous institution established for the promotion add development of Malayalam language and literature. Formally inaugurated by the then Raja Pramukh late Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma Raja of Travancore at Kanakakunu Palace, Thiruvananthapuram on 15th October, 1956, the Akademi started functioning in the Secretariat, Thiruvananthapuram and later on was shifted to a room in the Thrissur Museum Bungalow. In September, 1957 it was again shifted to the present beautiful building near the Thrissur Town Hall.

           The Akademi was registered according to the Tiruvitamkur Kochi Societies Registration Act of 1955 and is functioning with grant given by the Government of Kerala. Transformations: (An interlude of resentment) According to the Government order No.24/84CD of 29.6.1984 the Kerala Sahitya Akademi was re-organised by the Government. The administration of the Akademi was entrusted to a Managing Committee. This action adversely affected the democratic functioning of the Akademi and attracted resentment from eminent men of letters and cultural activists. However the ad-hoc arrangement continued for some time. A new constitution which is being followed now, came into force in 1985. Now the Akademi is a corporate entity registered under the Travancore Kochi Literary, Scientific and Charitable Societies Registration Act, 1955.


The aims and objectives

Encourage or arrange translations of literacy works from Malayalam to other languages and vice versa.
Publish literacy works including history of literature, bibliographies, dictionaries, encyclopedia, directories of men of letters etc.
Award prizes and give recognition and assistance to individual writers.
Encourage cultural organisations engaged in the development of literature.
Organise or sponsor literacy conferences, seminars and symposia.
Promote and help research in the field of language and literature.
Promote cultural and literacy exchanges with other languages and writers.
Encourage propagation and study of literature among university students and the masses.
Organise camps and study classes on literature for young writers.
Help study tours by writers, organise cultural exchanges among men of letters.
Promote literacy and cultural programs among agricultural and industrial workers.
Conduct exhibitions of recognised works of great writers in order to assist and help the publication of these books.
Confer fellowships to distinguished writers.


Authorities of the Akademi

           The Akademi functions under the overall control of a 35 member General council consisting of eminent persons representing different branches of Malayalam literature, and is assisted by an eleven member Executive Board consisting of the President, Vice President, District Collector as Treasurer, Secretary of the Akademi and Secretary to Government in charge of Cultural Department or his nominee and Six persons elected by the General Council from among its members. Apart from this there will be a Finance Committee, with the Treasurer as the Chairman, a nominee of the Secretary to Government in charge of the Culture Department , a nominee of the Secretary to Government in charge of Finance Department, one member of the Executive Board nominated by the Committee and one member of the General Council nominated by the Council.

Sub Committees

In Order to carry out the day to day functioning of the different activities of the Akademi effectively Sub Committees have been formed each with a convener and a few members.
The various sub committees are :

. Publication Committee
. Works & Planning Committee
. Library & Research Committee
. Editorial Committee on Malayalam Literacy Survey.
. Editorial Committee on Sahitya Lokam, Sahitya Chakravalam
. Educational Committee
. Committee on Literary Meets
. Sahityakara Directory
. Sanskarika Diary& Literacy Archives


Succession list of Presidents

1. Sardar K.M. Panikker
2. K.P. Kesava Menon
3. Puthezhath Raman Menon 4. G. Shankara Kurup
5. Kuttippuzha Krishna Pillai 6. Ponkunnam Varki
7. P. Kesava Dev   8. P.C. Kuttikrishnan (Uroob)
9. Thakazhy Sivasankara Pillai 10. S. Gupthan nair
11. M.K. Sanoo 12. K.M. Tharakan
13. M.T. Vasudevan Nair.  

The Akademi Library

           The Akademi has a good reference library of rare books on different subjects in Malayalam numbering over 100,000. It also contains important books in English, Russian, Sanskrit, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Gujarathi and Marathi languages. The Akademi library also contains valuable acquisitions from Rama Varma Research Institute Library, Malayalam language Improvement Committee Library, Kalyani Krishna Menon Collections, K. Sukumaran Library, Vilasini Collections etc. Calicut University, Mahatma Gandhi University, Sree Sankaracharya Sanskrit University etc. have approved the Akademi Library as their Research Centres. This is a haven for scholars and literacy students intend on research and in fact about 60,000 people use the Library's collection of over 85,000 titles every year. The library receives about 260 periodicals regularly. About 50 scholars can sit in the quiet and well ventilated reading room. The Library has developed a software in Malayalam, that will list all books in the library collection alphabetically in Malayalam, a feast not achieved anywhere else in Kerala. The software is now being incorporated into the Akademi infrastructure. The library has already brought out a Grandhasuchi (index of titles), with the help of the eminent Library Scientist Mr. K.M. Govi. After introduction of the Malayalam Library Software, a more accurate and updated Gradhasuchi is planned.

The Akademi Multimedia Section

           Early in 1999 Kerala Sahitya Akademi has embarked on a mission to computerise the Akademi's various sections in a phased manner. The Akademi now has four multimedia computer systems equipped for the following. Scanning photos and other graphics for typesetting and graphic artworks, and for scanning rare manuscripts and thaliyola grandhams (ancient books written on palm leaves with an iron scribe) and handwriting of eminent writers in Kerala, with a view to preserving them for posterity. The system is equipped with CD writer, for recording and storing these manuscripts and other scanned materials.
Typesetting Akademi publications. The prestigious book 'Nammude Sahityam, Nammude Samooham' will be typeset by using Akademi Computer facilities. Two volumes of this book have come out.
The Internet Connection in the Library is open to research scholars for web surfing and for downloading books not available in India. They can take printout of these books or part thereof on a deskjet printer.


As a Publisher

           Presently the Akademi has published distinguished works from Malayalam, English and Hindi languages. It includes the translation of classics from India and aboard. One of the most ambitious scheme taken up by the Akademi is the publication of two large volumes of Comparative Indian Literature both in English and Malayalam and this monumental works have earned great acclamation from scholars and readers. The bibliographies and monthly indices of publications have been prepared by the Akademi. Seven volumes of the bibliographies which include descriptions of books published upto 1995 have already been published Another major publication is the Malayalam Portuguese Dictionary prepared by Arnos Pathiry. Publication of the books "Our Literature, Our Society' in four volumes is a prestigious contribution of the Akademi.

Bookshop

The Akademi has a rich book centre in which all the books published by the Akademi along with the books published by the co-institutions are available for sale.
Periodicals Published by the Akademi:
Malayalam Literary Survey - An English Quarterly Rs. 60 (Annual Subscription)
Sahitya Lokam- Malayalam Bimonthly Rs.60 (Annual Subscription)
Sahitya Chakravalam - a monthly in Malayalam Rs. 30 (Annual Subscription)
Literary survey is intended to introduce Malayalam language, literature and culture to outsiders including foreigners. Sahitya Lokam is meant for the serious study and development of Malayalam language and literature. Sahitya Chakravalam contains a good deal of information on literacy events mainly contemporary in nature, both inside and outside the country.

 

Designed & Maintained by: C-DIT, Thiruvananthapuram, www.cdit.org
for Public Relations Department, Govt. of Kerala.