Gopalkrishna Gandhi Current Affairs - 2020

Author Amish Tripathi appointed director of London’s Nehru Centre

Renowned Author Amish Tripathi has been named as the new director of London’s Nehru Centre, under Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

About Amish Tripathi

He is the author of best-selling books such as ‘Secret of the Nagas’ and ‘Sita – Warrior of Mithila’.

He will take over the director’s post from diplomat Srinivas Gotru, whose 4 year tenure ended in early 2019. He was appointed on basis of merit, after he applied for the director’s post followed by an interview with a selection panel.

His appointment is being expected to bring more visibility to ICCR’s flagship cultural centre and will make every centre under ICCR to be more vibrant and proactive to generate a proper understanding of the Indian culture abroad.

About London’s Nehru Centre

The Nehru Centre is a cultural centre located at the South Audley Street, London in United Kingdom (UK).

It was established in 1992 with the goal of promoting cultural exchange between India and UK.

Famous personalities associated with centre include- Gopalkrishna Gandhi served as its founder director and Playwright-actor Girish Karnad was among prominent people to have helmed the centre.

Most of the directors to Nehru Centre’s have been political appointees. Diplomat Pavan Varma was 1st bureaucrat to head cultural wing of Indian high commission in London, UK and was appointed as its director in 2005.

Amitav Ghosh conferred 54th Jnanpith Award

Renowned author Amitav Ghosh was felicitated with 54th Jnanpith Award for his outstanding contribution to enrichment of Indian Literature in English. He was presented the award by Gopalkrishna Gandhi, former Governor of West Bengal who was the chief guest at a function held at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi.

Key Highlights

Author Ghosh is 1st English language writer to become a Jnanpith laureate as all previous winners of prestigiuous award have been writers in Indian languages.

The 62 years old Kolkata-born author was described as a path-breaking novelist by the awarding body Bharatiya Jnanpith.

He was acknowledged for in his novels which treads through historical settings to modern era and weaves a space where past connects with present in relevant ways.

About Amitav Ghosh

Even though he is a social anthropologist by academic training, he has written extensively in both fiction and non-fiction sphere of literature.

Till date his works has been translated in over 30 languages. He also holds four honourary doctrates.

Awards: He has been awarded Sahitya Akademi Award (1990) for his book The Shadow Lines and Padma Shri (2007) for his services to literature and education.

Literary Themes: The major thematic concerns in is literature includes migration and interconnections across places, cultures and races, as well as human distress and suffering caused by historical turbulences, especially at level of girmitiyas, coolies and lascars.

About Jnanpith award

It is the highest literary award in India, presented annually by Bharatiya Jnanpith (a literary and research organization). It can only be conferred upon a citizen of India but with no posthumous conferral.

Prize: The award consists of a citation, shawl, goddess Saraswati statue and cah prize of cash prize of Rs.11 lakh.

Initially English language was not considered for the Award but after 49th Jnanpith Award, English language was added to the list of languages for consideration.

Background: It was instituted on 22 May 1961 and is given for best creative literary writing by any Indian citizen in any of the 22 Indian languages listed in Schedule 8 of Indian Constitution. After 1982 onwards, the award is given for overall contribution to literature as prior to that a specific work used to be cited.

1st winner of Jnanpith award was G.S. Kurup, famous Malyalam writer.