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Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters, is the central institution for literary dialogue, publication and promotion in the country and the only institution that undertakes literary activities in 24 Indian languages, including English. Over the 56 years of its dynamic existence, it has ceaselessly endeavored to promote good taste and healthy reading habits, to keep alive the intimate dialogue among the various linguistic and literary zones and groups through seminars, lectures, symposia, discussions, readings and performances, to increase the pace of mutual translations through workshops and individual assignments and to develop a serious literary culture through the publications of journals, monographs, individual creative works of every genre, anthologies, encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, who's who of writers and histories of literature.
Akademi gives 24 awards annually to literary works in the languages it has recognized and an equal number of awards to literary translations from and into the languages of India, both after a year long process of scrutiny, discussion and selection. It also gives special awards called Bhasha Samman to significant contribution to the languages not formally recognized by the Akademi as also for contribution to classical and medieval literature. It has also system of electing eminent writers as Fellows and Honorary Fellows and has also established fellowship in the names of Dr. Anand Coomaraswamy and Premchand. The Akademi has launched Centres for Translation in Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Delhi, and an Archive of Indian Literature in Delhi. A project office for the promotion of Tribal and Oral literature has also been set up in the North Eastern Hill University Campus, Shillong. Many more imaginative projects are on the anvil. Sahitya Akademi is aware of cultural and linguistic differences and does not believe in forced standardization of culture through a bulldozing of levels and attitudes. At the same time, it is also conscious of the deep inner culture, spiritual, historical and experimental links that unify India's diverse manifestations of literature. This unity seeks an international species-dimension through the Akademi's Culture Exchange Programmes with other counties on the globe.