Literary News: The New India Foundation announces Awardees of Round 11 NIF Book Fellowships

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Thursday, 6 July 2023, Bengaluru:

The New India Foundation is delighted to announce the seven recipients of the coveted NIF Book FellowshipsIn its eleventh edition, the initiative continues to support well-researched scholarship on an extraordinary range of topics around post-Independence India.

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The seven distinguished recipients comprise academics, authors, journalists, and public intellectuals:

1. Pramit Bhattacharya:

Accounting For The Nation: The Story Behind India’s Growth Numbers

2. Srijan Deshpande:

The Life and Music of Kumar Gandharva

3. Syed Jaleel Hussain:

Ambivalent Allegiances: Shiism and Everyday Politics in Kashmir

4. Rachna Mehra:

Planning ‘New Towns’ in the Post-Independence Era: The Making of Faridabad City (1948-90)

5. Maya Mirchandani:

Fathers, Sons, and a Troubled Paradise: A History of the Abdullahs

6. Disha Mullick:

Love, Death and Compromise: Stories of a New Rural Public

(A Collective Biography of Khabar Lahariya)

7. Ramakrishna Ramaswamy: 

A Difficult Mind: An Intellectual Biography of Damodar Dharmanand Kosambi

The Fellowship is awarded for the period of one year with an overall stipend of INR 18 lakhs to each recipient. In addition to financial aid, the Foundation offers editorial, legal, and administrative guidance through the course of the Fellowship, from proposal to publication. Recent books published under the NIF Book Fellowship include Abhishek Choudhary’s Vajpayee: The Ascent of the Hindu Right (PanMacmillan), Manoj Mitta’s Caste Pride: Battles for Equality in Hindu India (Westland), and Savithri Preetha Nair’s Chromosome Woman, Nomad Scientist: EK Janaki Ammal, A Life 1897-1984 (Routledge).

The Jury for this round consisted of Emeritus Trustee Nandan Nilekani, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize Chair Niraja Gopal Jayal, Book Fellowship Chair Srinath Raghavan, and Managing Trustee Manish Sabharwal.

Announcing the Fellowship Awardees, Srinath Raghavan said: ‘Each of the 7 selected proposals aims to tell a remarkable story, and I think they also cumulatively capture some of the most important and interesting aspects of India today. These books delve into economy and culture, media and identity, rural and urban India, politics and biography, and of course, the ways in which these histories can illuminate our common conversations about the country.’


Aimed at enabling high-quality original research and writing on a diverse range of topics around post-Independence India, the NIF Fellowships have resulted in the publication of an eclectic and vibrant collection of over thirty books brought out by prestigious publishing houses. The core activity of the New India Foundation is the New India Foundation Book Fellowships which, after nearly two decades, are now in their eleventh round. The Translation Fellowships announced last year further build on the NIF’s mission to support scholarship on all aspects of Independent India by bringing work from Indian languages into English.

Instituted in 2018, the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize, awarded annually to the best non-fiction book on modern or contemporary Indian history, has further built on this mission of recognizing excellence in writing on the world’s largest democracy. 

The NIF Lecture was started in 2004 and renamed in 2019 to the Girish Karnad Memorial NIF Lecture in honour of the late multilingual filmmaker and writer. It is held in Bengaluru in association with a reputed public institution.

Ramachandra Guha, Nandan Nilekani, Niraja Gopal Jayal, Manish Sabharwal, and Srinath Raghavan are the Trustees of the New India Foundation.

For more information about the Fellows of the New India Foundation or information about applying to the upcoming round of Translation Fellowships, please visit

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