Since 2018, the New India Foundation has been awarding an annual book prize titled the ‘Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize’ for the best non-fiction book on modern/contemporary India published in the previous year. There is no limitation as to the genre — the book can be a work of history, biography, political commentary, travel, memoir, etc. This prize is named after Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, the great patriot, and institution-builder who had contributed significantly to the freedom struggle, to the women’s movement, to refugee rehabilitation and to the renewal of handicrafts.
There are no restrictions with regards to the writer’s nationality either. Works written originally in English or translated into English are eligible. Nominations are invited for the books first published in the calendar year 2020 for a prize of INR 15 lakhs.
The Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay Book Prize builds on the New India Foundation’s mission of sponsoring high-quality research and writing on the world’s largest democracy. The jury for the NIF Prize will be the same as that which awards the NIF Fellowships.
Joint Winners of the third Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize are Amit Ahuja, for Mobilizing the Marginalized: Ethnic Parties without Ethnic Movements, and Jairam Ramesh for A Chequered Brilliance: The Many Lives of V.K. Krishna Menon. The 2020 winners will share the prize money of 15 lacs for their respective books and will each receive the Book Prize trophy. Read more here.
The second winner of the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize was announced at the Bangalore Literature Festival. Dr. Ornit Shani received the prize of Rs.15 lakhs from Ms. Niraja Gopal Jayal and Ms. Rohini Nilekani. Read more here.
The first winner of the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize was announced on 27th October 2018 at the Bangalore Literature Festival. Dr. Milan Vaishnav received the prize of Rs. 15 lakhs from the eminent literary historian Shri Velcheru Narayana Rao. Read more here.