Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship

The Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, also known as Akademi Ratna Sadasyata, is an Indian honour for the performing arts presented by Sangeet Natak Akademi.[1] It is "the most prestigious and rare honour" conferred by the Akademi and is "restricted to 40 individuals at any given time".[2]

Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship
Award for individual contributions to Performing arts
Awarded forAward for the performing arts in India
Sponsored bySangeet Natak Akademi
Reward(s)3 lakh (equivalent to 4.5 lakh or US$5,400 in 2023)
First awarded1954
Last awarded2023
Total awarded172
First winner
Last winner
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata



In 1945, The Asiatic Society of Bengal submitted a proposal to establish a National Cultural Trust consisting of three academies: an Academy of Music, Dance, and Drama, an Academy of Letters, and an Academy of Art and Architecture. The proposal was reconsidered in the Conference on Art held in Kolkata in 1949, and two conferences, the Conference on Letters, and the Conference on Dance, Drama, and Music, were held in New Delhi in 1951. All three conferences were organized by the Government of India and recommended the establishment of three national academies: an Academy of Music, Dance, and Drama (Sangeet Natak Akademi), an Academy of Letters (Sahitya Akademi), and an Academy of Art (Lalit Kala Akademi).[3]

The Sangeet Natak Akademi, established on 31 May 1952 by a resolution of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (then the Ministry of Education), Government of India, headed by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad,[3] is India's National Academy for Music, Dance, and Drama. The Akademi was officially inaugurated on 28 January 1953 by the first President of India, Rajendra Prasad and P. V. Rajamannar was appointed as its first Chairman.[4] The first members of the Executive Board of the Akademi consisted of Maharaja Sri Sir Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar Bahadur, T. L. Venkatarama Aiyar, S. N. Mozumdar, N. R. Ray, Dharma Vira, A.K. Ghosh, J. C. Mathur, and A. V. Venkateswaran.[5] Other two institutes were established later; the Sahitya Akademi was inaugurated on 12 March 1954 and the Lalit Kala Akademi was inaugurated on 5 August 1954.[6][7] Later, on 11 September 1961, it was reorganized as a society and registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. Though the Sangeet Natak Akademi functions as an autonomous organization of the Ministry of Culture, its programmes are completely funded by the Government.[4]

The Sangeet Natak Akademi is defined as "the apex body of the performing arts" in the country and primarily focuses on "preserving and promoting the vast intangible heritage of India's diverse culture expressed in the forms of music, dance and drama". The Akademi has also established various institutions in the fields of performing arts: the National School of Drama in New Delhi in 1959, the Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy in Imphal and the National Institute of Kathak Dance in New Delhi in 1964, and the Koodiyattam Kendra in Thiruvananthapuram in 1990.[4][8] Since 1965, the Akademi also publishes a quarterly journal, Sangeet Natak.[9]



The Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship is conferred without distinction of nationality, race, caste, religion, creed, or sex. The criteria restricts any person below the age of 50 to ordinarily be considered for the honour, although a minimum age of 35 is required.[10] Persons who are already deceased do not qualify; if an honoree dies before the honour is conferred, however, the honour will be assigned posthumously.[10] The criteria also excludes any institution along with the members of the General Council of the Akademi from consideration. The fellowship does not refer to any specific work or achievement of an artist but to the "significant and lasting contribution on a sustained basis over a period of time". The recommendations are received from the current fellows along with the members of the General Council of the Akademi.[10]

The fellowship was established in 1954 and the first elected fellows were Carnatic music vocalist Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Veena player Karaikudi Sambasiva Aiyer, and film and theatre actor Prithviraj Kapoor. As of 2015, the fellowship has been conferred upon 148 individuals, including 32 dancers, 31 theater performers, 76 musicians, and 9 individuals awarded for their overall contributions in all three fields. Since its inception, the honour has been bestowed upon 26 female artists and, in 1958, a Hindustani classical vocalist, belonging to the Bhendibazaar gharana, Anjanibai Malpekar became the first woman fellow of the Akademi. A French national and musicologist Alain Daniélou is the only non-Indian national awarded with the fellowship.[11]

As per the constitutional provision under Rule 12 (vi) of the Rules and Regulations of the Akademi, the number of fellows is restricted to 30. On 25 March 2003, the General Council of the Akademi recommended restricting the number of fellows to 40 living persons and a total of 60 at any given time. However, the recommendation is not yet approved by the Ministry. As of 2021, there are 39 Fellows of the Sangeet Natak Akademi.[12] Each recipient is awarded with a cash prize of 3 lakh (equivalent to 4.5 lakh or US$5,400 in 2023), an Angavastram (Shawl), and a Tamrapatra (citation plaque) given under the seal of Akademi and signature of its Chairman.[10][11][13] There were ten recipients for the year 2019, 2020 and 2021.[12] The most recent fellowship was announced on 27 February 2024 and awarded to six recipients for the year 2022 and 2023.[14]

List of fellows

Fellowship recipients by field[11]
Field Number of recipients
Overall Contribution/Scholarship
   # Indicates a current fellow
List of Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellows, showing the year, and field(s)[15][11]
Year Image Recipient Field(s)
1954  – Allauddin Khan Music
1954  – Hafiz Ali Khan Music
1954  – Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar Music
1954  – Karaikudi Sambasiva Iyer Music
1954   Prithviraj Kapoor Theatre
1958  – Anjanibai Malpekar Music
1962  – Gopeshwar Banerjee Music
1962  – D. Annaswami Bhagavathar Music
1962   Uday Shankar Dance
1962  – Papanasam Sivan Music
1963  – Swami Prajnanananda Music
1963  – Shrikrishna Narayan Ratanjankar Music
1963  – Pichu Sambamoorthi Music
1963  – Mama Warerkar Theatre
1964  – T. L. Venkatarama Iyer Music
1964  – C. Saraswathi Bai Music
1964  – Birendra Kishore Roy Choudhury Music
1964  – B. R. Deodhar Music
1964  – V. Raghavan Music
1964  – P. V. Rajamannar Theatre
1965  – Vinayak Narayan Patwardhan Music
1965  – Ganesh Hari Ranade Music
1965 Dilipkumar Roy Music
1965  – Jaideva Singh Music
1965  – D. G. Vyas Music
1966  – Ashutosh Bhattacharya Music
1966  – E. Krishna Iyer Overall Contribution/Scholarship
1966 Sombhu Mitra Theatre
1966   Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar Music
1967 Ebrahim Alkazi Theatre
1967   Rukmini Devi Arundale Dance
1967 Musiri Subramania Iyer Music
1967   Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Music
1967  – P. K. Kunju Kurup Dance
1967  – Shambhu Maharaj Dance
1967  – V. Satyanarayana Sarma Dance
1967  – Adya Rangacharya 'Shriranga' Theatre
1968  – Kali Charan Patnaik Overall Contribution/Scholarship
1970  – K. C. D. Brahaspati Music
1970   Kapila Vatsyayan Dance
1970  – Dilip Chandra Vedi Music
1972   Tarapada Chakraborty Music
1972  – Krishnarao Phulambrikar Music
1972  – Rallapalli Ananta Krishna Sharma Music
1973 K. Shivaram Karanth Theatre
1974  – Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay Theatre
1974  – Jnan Prakash Ghosh Music
1974   M. S. Subbulakshmi Music
1975 T. Balasaraswati Dance
1975   Zubin Mehta# Music
1975  – Rasiklal Parikh Theatre
1975   Ravi Shankar Music
1975  – Embar S. Vijayaraghavachariar Music
1976   Santidev Ghosh Overall Contribution/Scholarship
1976   Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer Music
1977  – Hirjibhai Rustomji Doctor Music
1978  – Tinuvengadu Subramania Pillai Music
1978  – B. Puttaswamayya Theatre
1979   P. L. Deshpande Theatre
1979  – D. T. Joshi Music
1979  – Sumati Mutatkar Music
1979  – T. P. Kuppiah Pillai Dance
1980  – V. K. Narayana Menon Overall Contribution/Scholarship
1982   Mani Madhava Chakyar Dance
1982   Mallikarjun Mansur Music
1984  – M. Kirupanandawari Music
1984  – Chandravadan Mehta Theatre
1984   Siyaram Tiwari Music
1986  – V. V. Swarna Venkatesa Deekshithar Music
1986  – Komal Kothari Music
1986  – S. Ramanathan Music
1986   Satyajit Ray Music
1988  – Shivaputra Siddaramayya Komkali ‘Kumar Gandharva’ Music
1989   Lata Mangeshkar Music
1990 Utpal Dutt Theatre
1990   Ram Gopal Dance
1991   Alain Daniélou Music
1991  – Kelucharan Mohapatra Dance
1991  – T. S. Parthasarathy Overall Contribution/Scholarship
1992   Ali Akbar Khan Music
1992   D. K. Pattammal Music
1992  – Prem Lata Sharma Music
1993   Girish Karnad Theatre
1993   Mrinalini Sarabhai Dance
1994   Bismillah Khan Music
1994   Yehudi Menuhin Music
1994  – Maheswar Neog Overall Contribution/Scholarship
1995 Vilayat Khan Music
1996   Ammannur Madhava Chakyar Dance
1996   Gangubai Hangal Music
1996  – Habib Tanvir Theatre
1997   Badal Sarkar Theatre
1998   Bhimsen Joshi Music
1998   Birju Maharaj Dance
1998  – K. P. Kittappa Pillai Dance
1998   Vijay Tendulkar Theatre
2001   M. Balamuralikrishna Music
2001 B. V. Karanth Theatre
2001 Vempati Chinna Satyam Dance
2002  – Shanno Khurana# Music
2002   Kavalam Narayana Panicker Theatre
2004  – Chandralekha Dance
2004  – Annapurna Devi Music
2004  – Bindhyabasini Devi Other performing arts[a]
2004   Ramankutty Nair Dance
2004 Zohra Sehgal Theatre
2004  – Tapas Sen Theatre
2006  – Rohini Bhate Dance
2006   T. N. Krishnan Music
2006  – Kishan Maharaj Music
2006  – Gursharan Singh Theatre
2006  – N. Khelchandra Singh Dance
2007  – Sushil Kumar Saxena Overall Contribution/Scholarship
2008  – Khaled Choudhury Theatre
2008   Sitara Devi Dance
2008   Bhupen Hazarika Music
2008  – R. C. Mehta Music
2009   Kishori Amonkar Music
2009   Jasraj Music
2009 Lalgudi Jayaraman Music
2009   Yamini Krishnamurthy# Dance
2009   Shriram Lagoo Theatre
2009  – Kamlesh Dutt Tripathi Theatre
2010   Girija Devi Music
2010  – T. K. Murthy# Music
2010  – Nataraja Ramakrishna Dance
2010  – Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar Music
2011   M. Chandrasekaran# Music
2011   Hariprasad Chaurasia# Music
2011   Kalamandalam Gopi# Dance
2011   Chandrashekhara Kambara# Theatre
2011  – Heisnam Kanhailal Theatre
2011  – Mukund Lath Overall Contribution/Scholarship
2011   Shivkumar Sharma Music
2011   Rajkumar Singhajit Singh# Dance
2011   Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman# Music
2011   Padma Subrahmanyam# Dance
2011   Amjad Ali Khan# Music
2012  – N. Rajam# Music
2012  – Ratan Thiyam# Theatre
2012   T. H. Vinayakram# Music
2013  – Mahesh Elkunchwar# Theatre
2013   Kanak Rele Dance
2013  – R Sathyanarayana Dance
2014   Tulsidas Borkar Music
2014  – S. R. Janakiraman# Music
2014  – Vijay Kichlu Music
2014   M. S. Sathyu# Theatre
2015  – C. V. Chandrasekhar# Dance
2016  – Arvind Parikh# Music
2016  – R. Vedavalli# Music
2016  – Ram Gopal Bajaj# Theatre
2016   Sunil Kothari Overall Contribution/Scholarship
2018   Zakir Hussain# Music
2018   Jatin Goswami# Dance
2018   Sonal Mansingh# Dance
2018  – T. K. Kalyanasundaram# Dance
2019-21   Saroja Vaidyanathan Dance
2019-21   Sadanam Krishnankutty# Dance
2019-21  – Darshana Jhaveri# Dance
2019-21   Chhannulal Mishra# Music
2019-21   A. K. C. Natarajan# Music
2019-21   Swapan Chaudhuri# Music
2019-21   Malini Rajurkar Music
2019-21   T. V. Gopalakrishnan# Music
2019-21   Teejan Bai# Music
2019-21   Bharat Gupt# Overall Contribution/Scholarship
2022-23  – Vinayak Khedekar# Overall Contribution/Scholarship
2022-23  – R. Visweswaran Music
2022-23   Sunayana Hazarilal# Dance
2022-23  – Raja and Radha Reddy# Dance
2022-23  – Dulal Roy# Theater
2022-23  – Daya Prakash Sinha# Theater

See also


Explanatory notes

  1. ^ Other performing arts include Traditional/Folk/Tribal/Dance/Music/Theatre and Puppetry


  1. ^ Jha, Manisha (23 July 2011). "Sangeet Natak Akademi fellowship for Girija Devi, T.K. Murthy, Dagar". The Hindu. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  2. ^ "Zakir Hussain, Sonal Mansingh Among 4 Selected for Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellow". News18. 16 July 2019. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  3. ^ a b "National Academies: Sangeet Natak Akademi". National Portal of India. 9 December 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Sangeet Natak Akademi: Introduction". New Delhi: Sangeet Natak Akademi. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Sangeet Natak Akademi: Constitution". New Delhi: Sangeet Natak Akademi. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  6. ^ "About Sahitya Akademi". Sahitya Akademi. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  7. ^ "Lalit Kala Akademi: History". Lalit Kala Akademi. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  8. ^ "Kuttiyattam Kendra". Kuttiyattam Kendra. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  9. ^ Post, Jennifer (2013). Ethnomusicology: A Research and Information Guide. Taylor & Francis. p. 119. ISBN 978-1-136-70518-2.
  10. ^ a b c d "Sangeet Natak Akademi: Guidelines for SNA Awards". New Delhi: Sangeet Natak Akademi. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  11. ^ a b c d "Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellow". New Delhi: Sangeet Natak Akademi. Archived from the original on 2 March 2021. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  12. ^ a b "Announcement of Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships (Akademi Ratna) & Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for the Years 2019, 2020 and 2021" (PDF). Retrieved 6 December 2022.
  13. ^ Acharya, Helen (23 April 2016). "Declaration of Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships (Akademi Ratna) and Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for the Year 2015" (PDF) (Press release). New Delhi: Sangeet Natak Akademi. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Announcement of Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships (Akademi Ratna)" (PDF). Sangeet Natak Akademi. 27 February 2024. Retrieved 17 March 2024.
  15. ^ "List of Akademi Fellows". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.